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J.    E.    HAKTING,    F.L.S.,    F.Z.S., 




J  88  7. 



54,    HATTON    GARDEN,    E.G. 


In  offering  a  few  remarks  by  way  of  Preface  to  the  Volume  for  1887 
wbicli  is  concluded  with  the  issue  of  the  present  number,  the  Editor 
desires  to  thank  very  cordially  all  those  contributors  who  during  the 
past  year  have  given  him  their  support  and  encouragement.  The 
number  and  variety  of  the  articles  which  have  been  contributed  to 
the  present  Volume  must  strike  every  reader  who  glances  at  their 
titles,  no  less  than  the  number  of  full-page  illustrations  which  through 
the  liberality  of  Mr.  Newman  have  been  expressly  drawn  and  litho- 
graphed for  "this  Journal.  These  plates  it  may  be  observed,  as  well  as 
the  articles  which  they  have  been  designed  to  illustrate,  are  intended 
to  bring  home  to  the  reader  a  more  accurate  impression  of  the  actual 
appearance  and  habits  of  some  of  the  smaller  British  Mammaha, 
which  either  from  the  nature  of  their  haunts  or  from  their  retired 
mode  of  life  are  apt  to  escape  the  attention  of  all  but  the  raost 
observant.  The  plan  pursued  has  been  to  have  the  original  drawmgs 
made  from  the  life  if  possible,  or  at  least  h-orn  perfectly  fresh  speci- 
mens while  still  in  the  flesh.  In  this  way  the  natural  features  are 
preserved  which  otherwise  would  be  lost  in  the  process  of  drying  and 

In  the  case  of  the  Greenland  Whale,  Bal(Bna  mysticetus,  the  plate 
of  this  species  issued  with  the  April  number  was  prepared  h-orn  an 
original  sketch  by  Capt.  David  Gray,  drawn  to  scale  after  careful 
measurements  of  a  recently  captured  specimen  ;  so  that  it  would  be 
impossible  to  have  any  more  satisfactory  figure  except  by  the  aid  of 
photography,  which  in  the  case  of  so  large  an  animal  could  not  well  be 

As  it  is  proposed  to  continue  the  series  (so  far  as  it  may  extend  to 
the  more  uncommon  species),  those  who  may  have  opportunities  for 
procuring  specimens  of  such  as  are  needed  for  illustration  will 
materially  aid  the  scheme  by  forwarding  the  same  to  the  Editor.  At 
present  the  desiderata  are  the  rarer  specimens  of  Bats  which  have  not 
yet  been  figured  in  the  series,  and  the  three  species  of  British  Shrews. 

At  the  same  time  any  notes  which  may  help  in  tracing  the 
distribution  of  these  mammals  in  the  British  Islands,  or  throw  light 
on  their  life-history,  will  be  very  acceptable. 

Attention  may  be  here  directed  to  the  fact  that  comparatively  little 
has  been  published  on  the  Zoology  of  Wales,  and  the  Editor  notes 
with  regret  how  few  correspondents  he  has  in  any  of  the  Welsh 
Counties.     He  would  urge  all  those  who  may  have  friends  in  the 

/  /- 


Principalityv  able  and  williug  to  undertake  an  investigation  of  the 
fauna  of  the  districts  in  which  they  reside,  to  acquaint  them  with  the 
desirability  of  collecting  information,  and  to  point  out  to  them  the 
medium  which  this  Journal  affords  for  the  publication  of  their 

To  a  certain  extent  these  remarks  will  apply  to  some  of  the  more 
remote  parts  of  Ireland  which,  from  the  naturalist's  point  of  view,  are 
still  imperfectly  known. 

It  should  be  borne  in  mind  that  one  of  the  chief  objects  of  this 
Journal  is  to  aid  in  the  collection  of  materials  for  a  better  knowledge 
of  the  British  Fauna  than  at  present  can  be  acquired  from  the 
perusal  of  any  existing  publications.  And  here  it  may  be  observed 
that  the  researches  of  its  contributors  should  not  be  limited  solely  to 
the  Vertebrates,  but  should  extend  also  to  the  Invertebrates,  excepting 
perhaps  the  Insecta,  to  the  special  study  of  which  other  journals  (the 
'  Entomologist '  and  the  '  Entomologists'  Monthly  Magazine  ')  are 
already  particularly  devoted. 

The  recent  establishment  of  a  Marine  Biological  Laboratory  at 
Plymouth  cannot  fail  to  be  productive  of  the  most  important  scientific 
results  in  this  direction  ;  at  the  same  time,  naturalists  who  are  resident 
on  other  parts  of  the  coast  may  materially  aid  the  cause  of  science 
which  such  an  institution  is  designed  to  promote,  by  communicating 
the  results  of  their  researches  into  the  life-history  of  many  marine 
forms,  especially  amongst  the  MoUusca  and  Crustacea,  about  which  we 
are  still  profoundly  ignorant.  Unhappily,  attention  has  been  too 
much  restricted  to  an  examination  of  external  form,  the  internal 
structure  being  almost  entirely  neglected.  In  this  direction  a  wide 
field  of  labour  remains  to  be  explored. 

It  need  not,  however,  be  supposed  that  the  scope  of  '  The 
Zoologist '  is  limited  to  the  study  of  British  Zoology,  although  this 
naturally  claims  a  large  share  of  attention.  The  Editor  is  always 
pleased  to  receive  zoological  communications,  to  whatever  part  of  the 
world  they  may  relate.  It  should  not  be  forgotten  that  the  British 
Islands  form  but  a  very  small  portion  of  the  British  Empire,  and  the 
more  we  can  learn  of  the  Zoology  of  other  parts  of  the  world,  the 
better  shall  we  be  informed  of  the  productions  of  our  own  country. 
In  fact,  without  such  extension  of  knowledge  we  should  know  next  to 
nothing  of  the  species  which  in  our  lists  come  under  the  designation 
of  periodical  migrants  and  accidental  visitors. 

In  offering  these  few  remarks  by  way  of  Preface  to  the  volume  for 
1887,  the  Editor  trusts  that  during  the  year  to  come  he  may  continue 
to  receive  as  heretofore,  h-om  all  parts  of  the  country,  a  proof  in  the 
shape  of  useful  contributions  to  this  Journal,  that  public  interest  in 
Zoology  is  in  no  way  subsiding. 



Apgar,  Prof.  Austin  C. 

The  Musk  Eat  and  the  Unio,  425 
Aplin,  Oliver  V. 

Bu-ds  observed  m  North  Devon, 
71 ;  Scarcity  of  Fieldfares,  71 ; 
Partridges  with  white  "  horse- 
shoes," 108;  Plumage  of  the 
Kestrel,  112 ;  Ornithological 
notes  from  Oxfordshire  in  1886, 
283 ;  Spring  moult  of  the  Wheat- 
ear,  BOO ;  Eoller  and  other  birds 
in  the  Isle  of  Wight,  386 ;  Wry- 
neck nesting  in  holes  in  the 
ground,  391 ;  Note  on  the  Tree 
Pipit,  430 
Balkwill,  F.  H. 

Small  Eorqual  at  Plymouth,  262 
Barclay,  Hugh  G. 

Swifts      appropriating      Martins' 
nests,  391 
Barrett-Hamilton,  Gerald  E.  H. 

Black  Eat  m  Wexford,  425 
Bath,  W.  Harcourt 

Usefulness  of  the  Eook  in  destroy- 
ing Caterpillars,  109 ;  A  Badger 
in  Birmingham,  346 ;  The  song 
of  the  Chaffinch,  348 ;  Thresher 
Shark  at  Portland,  393  ;  Missel 
Thrush  feeding  on  Pieris  rapae, 
429 ;  Song  of  Chaffinch  in 
autumn,  431 
Becher,  W. 

Montagu's  Harrier  in  Notts,  26 
Beckmann,  L. 

Hornless  Stags,  381 
Beckwith,  William  E. 

Food  of  the  Spotted  Flycatcher, 
269 ;  Food  of  the  Missel  Thrush, 
Bell,  Prof.  F.  Jeffrey,  M.A. 

Holothurians   or   Sea   Slugs,   41 ; 
The  "  Grouse  disease,"  265,  302 
Benson,  Henry 

Cirl  Bunting  breeding  near  Godal- 
ming,  303 

Bird,  Eev.  Maurice  C.  H.,  M.A. 
Blue-throat  in  Norfolk,  70;  On  the 
wing-spiu:  of  the  Coot,  Moorhen, 
and  Water  Eail,  107;  White- 
eyed  Pochard  and  Bewick's 
Swan  in  Norfolk,  195;  The 
Sheldrake  or  "Bar-goose"  on 
the  Essex  coast,  195 

BiRLEY,  F.  H. 

Lesser  EedpoU  nesting  in  Surrey, 
69 ;  Thrush  nesting  on  the 
ground,  112 ;  Woodcock  and 
Pheasant  laying  in  the  same 
nest,  194 
Blagg,  E.  W.  H. 

Change  of  habits  in  the  Brown 
Eat,  234 ;  Wood  Pigeons  casting 
up  pellets,  236 ;  Jackdaw  taking 
possession  of  Magpie's  nest,  267 ; 
Eedstart  laying  spotted  eggs, 
303 ;  Ciurious  site  for  Chiffchaff 's 
nest,  304 ;  Manx  Shearwater  in 
Staffordshire,  430 
Blake,  W. 

Manx   Shearwater    in    Hereford- 
sliire,  430 
Bond,  F.,  F.Z.S. 

Hedgehog    eating    swedes,    345 ; 
Swifts  nesting  in  Martins'  nests, 
348 ;   Distribution  of  the  Bank 
Vole,  425 
BoRRER,  William,  M.A.,  F.L.S. 
Breeding  of  the  Tufted  Duck  in 
Aberdeenshire,  427  ;   The  Bank 
Vole  in  Sussex,  462 
BOULENGER,  G.  A.,  F.Z.S. 

A  synopsis  of  the  Snakes  of  South 
Africa,  171 
Brazenor,  C.  W. 

Natterer's  Bat   and  the   Barbas- 
telle  in  Sussex,  151 ;    Craneflies 
preyed    upon    by     Gulls     and 
Terns,  355 
Brown,  George,  F.Z.S. 
Waxwing  in  Aberdeenshire,  70 



Beown,  J.  A.  Harvie,  F.E.S.E.,  &c. 
Knot  on  the  West  Coast  of  Scot- 
land, 464 
Browne,  Montagu,  F.Z.S. 

Notes  on  the  vertebrate  animals  of 
Leicestershire,  57 

Bees  occupying  a  bird's  nest,  238 ; 
Young  Dippers    taking  to  the 
water,  269 
Butler,  A.  G.,  F.LS.,  F.Z.S. 

Unusual  nesting-site  for  the  Tree 
Sparrow,  265 ;  Unusual  nesting- 
site  for  the  Wryneck,  299 ;  The 
Missel  Thrush  occasionally  a 
bird  of  prey,  304 ;  Attempt  to 
keep  the  Sand  Martin  in  con- 
finement, 347 ;  Late  nesting  of 
the  Greenfinch,  429 
Buxton,  Alfred  F. 

Note  on  the  Eing  Ouzel,  305 
Cambridge,  Rev.  0.  P.,  M.A.,  F.E.S. 
Paired  varieties  of  the  Jackdaw, 
Carter,  Samuel 

On  the  growth  of  antlers  in  the 
Eed-deer  as  observed  in  confine- 
ment, 321 
Carter,  T. 

Notes  from  Western  Australia,  352 
Chapman,  Abel 

Little  Gull  in  Co.  Durham,  26 
Chapman,  Alfred  Crawhall 
Habits   and   migrations    of  wild- 
fowl, 3 
Chase,  Robert  W. 

Harlequin  Duck  on  the  Northum- 
brian coast,  196  ;    Tawny  Pipit 
near   Brighton,   432 ;     Pectoral 
Sandpiper  in  Norfolk,  433 
Clutterbuck,  E.  E. 

Swallows    in     Somersetshire    in 
December,  269 
Cockerell,  S.  C. 

Middlesex  Mollusca,  354 
Cockerell,  T.  D.  A. 

Marine  Mollusca  of  Kerry,  115 
Cocks,  Alfred  H.,  M.A.,  F.Z.S. 
The  Finwhale  fishery  of  1886  on 
the  Lajiland  coast,  207 
Collinge,  W.  E. 

Secretion  of  a  violet-coloured  fluid 
by    certain    of  the    Limnseidas, 
Cook.  Charles 

Habits  of  the  Weasel,  24 
CooMBE,  Percy  E. 

Little  Bustard  in  Sussex,  111 

COEBIN,  G.  B. 

Young  Otters  in  August,  67 ;  Plo- 
ver's nest  with  five  eggs,  349 ; 
Honey  Buzzard  in  Dorset,  350 ; 
The  Green  Woodpecker  an  egg- 
sucker,  351 ;  Dark  variety  of 
Montagu's  Harrier  in  Hants,  352 
CoEDEAux,  John 

Distribution  of  the  White-bellied 
Brent  Goose,  152 
Cornish,  Thomas 

White's  Thrush  in  the  Scilly 
Islands,  114 ;  Scabbard  Fish  on 
the  Cornish  Coast,  114 ;  Inachus 
dorynchus  at  Penzance,  116 ; 
Cyclopterus  lumpiis  at  Scilly, 
196 ;  Axius  stirhynchus  in  Corn- 
wall, 237  ;  Timny  at  Penzance, 
307;  Crenilabrus  exoletus  at 
Penzance,  308 ;  Octopus  at  Pen- 
zance, 309 ;  Livid  Swimming 
Crab  at  Penzance,  309;  To 
purify  water  in  an  aquarium, 
344 ;  "  Becker"  or  "  Braise"  in 
Cornwall,  353 ;  Esquimaux  Cur- 
lew at  Scilly,  388 ;  Bay's  Bream 
at  Scilly,  393 
Croasdaile,  Anna 

Crossbills    at    Eynn,    Eosenallis, 
Queen's  County,  111 
Cunningham,  Eobert  0. 

Gull-billed  Tern  in  Belfast  Lough, 
Dale,  C.  W.,  F.L.S. 

Eeported  occurrence  of  Vespertilio 
murinus    in    Dorsetshire,    234; 
Slow-worm  attacked  by  a  Missel 
Tlu'ush,  307 
DiMMOCK,  George 

Belostomidae    and   other   fish-de- 
stroying Bugs,  101 
Dunn,  Matthias 

Facts  in  the  life-history  of  the 
Pollack,  241 
Elliott,  Edmund 

Plain  Surmullfit   on  the   Devon- 
shire coast,  155 
Ellison,  Allen 

Albino  birds  m  Co.  Wicklow,  193 ; 
On  the  breeding  habits  of  the 
Siskin  as  observed  in  the  Co. 
Wicklow,  338  ;  Disparity  in  size 
and  colour  of  eggs  of  the  same 
species,  387 ;  Late  stay  of  the 
Swift  in  Ireland,  428 
Evans,  William 

Breeding  of  the  Tufted  Duck   in 
Aberdeenshire,  405 



Feilden,  Col.  H.  W. 

Additions  to  the  Avifauna  of  the 
Faeroe  Islands,   73,   351;    Chff- 
birds  at  Dover,  294 ;   Late  stay 
of  Martins,  467 
Fitzgerald,  F.  E. 
Albino  birds  observed  in  the  Har- 
rogate district,  110 ;   Hawfincli 
at  Harrogate,   153 ;    Blackbird 
laying  in   Thrush's   nest,  194 ; 
House      Martins      nesting     in 
October,  194 
Flemyng,  Eev.  William,  M.A. 
Black  Eedstart  in  Co.  Waterford, 
Fortune,  Eiley 

Puffin  on  the  Thames  in  July,  263 
Bees  occupying  bu-ds'  nests,  273 
Hawfinch    in    Yorkshire,   299 
Long-eared  Owl  laying  in  Book's 
nest,  304 
Frere,  Eev.  H.  T.,  M.A. 

Supposed  appearance  formerly  of 
Ptarmigan  in  Cumberland,  153 ; 
Plumage  of  the  Kestrel,  154 
Garriock,  J.  T. 
Curlew    Sandpiper    and    Spotted 
Crake  in  Shetland,  72 
Gatcombe,  John  (the  late) 

Ornithological  notes  from  Devon 
and  Cornwall,  375 
Gawen,  C.  E.,  F.Z.S. 

Habits  of  Books,  268 
Goldsmith,  H.  St.  B. 

Puffin  and  Whimbrel  in  Somer- 
setshire, 466 
Goss,  H.,  F.L.S.,  F.G.S. 

The  song  of  the  Chaffinch,  348 
Gray,  Eobert 

Notes  on  a  voyage  to  the  Green- 
land Seas  in  1886,  48,  94,  121 
Griffin,  G.  W. 

The  Pearl  fisheries  of  Australia, 
GuNN,_T.  E.,  F.L.S. 

Ornithological  notes  from  Norfolk 
and  Suffolk,  415 
Gurney,  J.  H.,  F.Z.S. 

Wasp  attacking  a  Tarantula,  310 ; 
Open  nests  of  the  Starling,  Stock 
Dove,  and  Tawny  Owl,  347 
Gurney,  J.  H.,  Jun.,  F.Z.S. 

Varieties  of  the  Brambling,  74 ; 
Supposed  assumption  of  male 
plumage  by  a  female  Kestrel, 
113;  Ornithological  notes  from 
North  Norfolk,  140 ;  The  Green- 
backed  Porphyrio,  195 ;  Hybrid 

Greenfinches,  266  ;  The  White- 
winged  Tern  in  Cornwall  and 
Scilly,  387 ;  Occurrence  in 
England  of  the  Caspian  Tern, 

Hadfield,  Capt.  Henry 

Muscular  power  of  Snails,  114 

Haigh,  G.  H.  Caton 

Variety  of  the  Wild  Duck,  69; 
Habits  of  the  Green  Sandpiper, 
110 ;  Notes  on  Bats  in  North  Lin- 
cohishire,  142 ;  Lesser  Horse- 
shoe Bat  in  Wales,  152  ;  Lump- 
sucker  on  the  Welsh  coast,  273  ; 
Bats  found  in  Merionethshire, 

Hamling,  J.  G. 

Cat  attacked  by  a  Swallow,  345 ; 
Cormorants  roosting  on  a  chiurch, 

Harcourt,  G.  W. 

Notes  from  Osfordshii-e,  301 

Harper,  E.  P. 

Sooty  Shearwater  at  Flamborough, 
430 ;  Uncommon  birds  near 
Scarborough,  467 

Harting,  J.  E.,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S. 
Horse-shoe  Eats,  1 ;  Storm  Petrel 
in  London,  27 ;  Eeported  occur- 
rence of  the  Citril  Finch  near 
Brighton,  72 ;  Death  of  Eobert 
Gray,  106 ;  Eemarks  on  British 
Bats,  161 ;  Change  of  habits  in 
the  Brown  Eat,  189 ;  Death  of 
John  Gatcombe,  233  ;  Northern 
limits  of  the  range  of  the  Noctule 
in  Great  Britain,  260;  The 
sleep  of  the  Dormouse,  281 ; 
Herd  of  Eed-deer  from  a  single 
hind,  344;  White  Stoat  in 
Aiigust,  345 ;  Coloration  of  the 
Viper,  353 ;  On  the  Bank  Vole, 
Arvicola  glareolus,  361 ;  The 
Grampus  or  Killer  on  the  coast 
of  Norway,  383  ;  Snow  Bunting 
breeding  in  confinement,  391 ; 
Mode  in  which  Vipers  are 
killed  by  the  Hedgehog,  392; 
Squirrels  at  a  distance  fr"om 
trees,  424 ;  Troglodytes  par- 
vulus  a  migrant,  431 ;  The 
Mole,  Talpa  europaea  {Linn.), 


Cream-coloured   Courser   in    Car- 
diganshire, 269 
Irby,  Lieut. -Col.  L.  H. 
Bats  in  winter,  69 



Kelsall,  J.  E, 

The  distribiition  in  Britain  of  the 
Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat,  89 ;  The 
Bats  of  Merionethshire,  346 
Klein,  E.,  M.D.,  F.R.S. 

Report  on  the  Grouse  disease,  327 
Lamb,  Henry 

Albino  specimens  of  the  Short- 
tailed  Field  Vole,  152;  Great 
Grey  Shrike  in  Kent,  154;  Haw- 
fincla  nesting  in  Kent,  303 ; 
Nightingale  singing  in  July, 
Lan&ton,  Herbert 

A  new  egg-drill,  236,  305 
Larken,  E.  p. 
Dormice  in  a  garden,   106;    Va- 
rieties of  the  Viper,  237  ;    Un- 
usual site   for   Swallows'  nest, 
Lendenfeld,  R.  von,  Ph.D.,  F.L.S. 
Structure      and     life-history     of 
Sjionges,  223 
LiLFORD,  Rt.  Hon.  Lord,  F.L.S. 
A  few  words  on  European  Bats, 
61 ;    Notes  on  the  Ornithology 
of  Northamptonshire  and  neigh- 
bourhood, 249, 452  ;  A  Puffin  in 
London,  263;    The  Bank  Vole 
in  Northamptonshii-e,  463 
LiTTLEBOY,  John  E. 

Osprey  in  Hertfordshire,  390 
Lodge,  G.  E. 

Colour  and  size  of  Adders,  271 ; 
Unusual  site  for  a  Flycatcher's 
nest,  346 ;  Swifts  laying  in  Mar- 
tins' nests,  428 ;  Open  nests  of 
the  Tawny  Owl  and  Stock  Dove, 
LovETT,  Edward 

Notes  and  observations  on  British 
Stalk-eyed  Crustacea,  145 
Macfarland,  Prof.  William 
Nesting  habits  of  the  Humming 
Bird  (Trochilus  colubris),  459 
Macpherson,  Arthur  H. 
Ornithological  notes  from  Oxford- 
shire in   1866,   283;    Knot   on 
the  West   Coast    of   Scotland, 
Macpherson,  Rev.  H.  A.,  M.A. 
Distribution  of  the  White-bellied 
Brent  Goose,  29 ;    Plumage  of 
the  Tufted  Duck,  112 ;    Lesser 
Horse-shoe  Bat  in   Herts  and 
Kent,  152 ;  The  alleged  existence 
of  Ptarmigan  in   Cvunberland, 
153;  Reported  occurrence  of  Em- 

beriza  melanocephala  in  Scot- 
land, 193;  The  Ptarmigan  in 
South-West  Scotland,  194;  Food 
of  the  Greater  Horse-shoe  Bat, 
262 ;  Food  of  the  Smew,  271 ; 
The  song  of  the  Chaffinch,  299  ; 
Mimicry  of  the  Corn  Bunting, 
300;  Hybrid  Greenfinch  and 
Linnet,  303  ;  Coloration  of  the 
Viper,  306;  Pied  Puffin  and 
Razorbill  at  St.  Kilda,  347; 
The  Roe-deer  in  Cumberland, 
382;  The  Tufted  Duck  on  the 
Solway,  385  ;  Long-tailed  Duck 
in  Cumbei'land,  432;  Breeding 
of  the  Tufted  Duck,  465 
Mann,  T.  J. 

Wood  Pigeons  casting  up  pellets, 
Mansel-Pleydell,  J.  C,  F.L.S. 

Kestrel    and     Slow-worm,     263 ; 
Nesting  of  Montagu's  Harrier  in 
Dorsetshire,  464 
Marriott,  C.  A. 

Glaucous  and  Iceland  Gulls  on  the 
Essex  coast,  466 
Marsden,  H.  W. 

Nesting  of  the  Marsh  Warbler  in 
Glamorganshire,  264 ;  Black 
Tern  near  Gloucester,  299; 
Nesting  of  the  Common  Sand- 
piper, 305 ;  Lesser  and  Black 
Terns  near  Gloucester,  387 ; 
Manx  Shearwater  at  Gloucester, 
388 ;  Nidification  of  the  Noddy 
and  Sooty  Terns  in  the  West 
Indies,  429 
Mathew,  Rev.  M.  A.,  M.A.,  F.L.S. 

Hedgehog  attacking  a  Hare,  233 
Maw,  George 

Mares  and  Foals  v.  Wolves,  151 
MiERS,  Edward  J.,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S. 

Crustacea     from     the     Channel 
Islands,  433 
Moor,  E,  C. 

Snow  Bunting  on  Ben  Nevis  in 
summer,  28;   Moorhen  nesting 
in  a  disused  punt,  77 
Murdoch,  John 

Note  on  Eider  Ducks,  108 
Nelson,  T.  H. 

Autumnal  migration   of  birds  at 
Teesmouth,  270 
Newton,  Prof.  A.,  M.A.,  F.R.S. 

Swans  with  white  cygnets,  463 

NiCOLL,  J. 

Purple  Sandpiper  in  the  Channel 
Islands,  76 



Parrott,  F.  Hayward 

Bats  in  captivity,  106 ;   Yoiang  of 
the  Hedgehog,  424;    Range  of 
the  Dermouse  in  England,  463 
Phillips,  E.  Cambridge,  F.Z.S. 
Marten  Cat  in  Breconshire,  190; 
Ornithological  notes  from  Bre- 
conshire, 298 
Phillips.  G.  T. 

Supposed  breeding  of  the  Great 
Northern  Diver  in  the  Faeroe 
Islands,  464 ;  Lesser  Redpoll 
and  Hawfinch  nesting  in  Berk- 
shire, 466 

PiCKIN,  J. 

Pm-ple  Heron  in  Lancashire,  432 
PouLTON,  Edward  B.,  M.A.,  F.E.S. 

Habits  of  Testacella  haliotidea,  29 
Pow,  G. 

Nesting  of  the  Stock  Dove  in  East 
Lothian,  235 
Prentis,  Walker 

Immigration  of  Fieldfares,  28 

PURDY,  R.  J.  W. 

Bittern  in  Norfolk,  75 
Rice,  David  J. 

Hawfinch  nesting  in  Surrey,  265 
Rope,  G.  T. 

Weasels  killing  Moles,  68 ;  Birds 
which  sing  or  call  at  night,  73 ; 
Habits  of  the  Long-tailed  Field 
Mouse,  201 ;  Enemies  of  the 
Toad,  392 
Sanford,  Capt.  E.  A. 

The  Missel  Thrush  occasionally  a 
bird  of  prey,  263 
Seebohm,  Henry,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S. 
Breeding  of  Arctic  birds  in  Scot- 
land, 21 ;  Birds'  nests  and  eggs, 
Service,  Robert 

Former  existence  of  Ptarmigan  in 
South-west  Scotland,  81 ;  On 
the  nesting  of  the  Tufted  Duck  in 
Kirkcudbrightshire,  342;  Wild 
White  Cattle  in  South- Western 
Scotland,  448 
Shakespeare,  Wm. 

Osprey  captured   in    the    Bristol 
Channel,  433 
Slater,  Rev.  H.  H.,  B.A.,  F.Z.S. 
On  the  Goldeneyes  and  Ptarmigan 
of  Iceland,  422  ;  The  use  of  the 
word  "feral,"  461;    The  Bank 
Vole  m  Durham,  462 
Smith,  George 

Nesting    of  the    Sedge   Warbler, 
28 ;   The  Mediterranean  Black- 

headed   Gull    on    the    Norfolk 
coast,  69 
Snape,  Martin 

Adders  in  winter,  154 
Southwell,  Thomas,  F.Z.S. 

Notes    on   the    Seal    and  Whale 
fishery  of  1886,  182 ;   Common 
Rorqual  at  Skegness,  190  ;   The 
supposed  Serotine  in  the  New- 
castle Museum,  234  ;  Report  on 
the  migi'ation  of  birds,  432 
Stephens,  Darell,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S. 
Unusual   site   for   a   Flycatcher's 
nest,  306 
Stejneger,  Leonhard 

Shedding  of  the  claws  in  the  Ptar- 
migan  and   allied  birds,    258 ; 
The  British  Marsh  Tit,  379 
Swan,  J.  G. 

The  Trepang  fishery,  434 
Teschemaker,  W.  E. 

Swallows  and  Swifts  in  captivity, 
Theobald,  F.  V. 

Phalaropes,    Fulmar  Petrel,   and 
Montagu's  Harrier  near  Hast- 
ings, 28 
Troil,  Uno  von,  D.D. 

Notes  on  the  Fauna  of  Iceland,  254 
Tuck,  Rev.  Julian  G. 

Harlequin  Duck  on  the  Northum- 
brian   coast,    70 ;       Harlequin 
Drake,  196 ;  Ornithological  notes 
fi-om  Hunstanton,  Norfolk,  384 
UssHER,  Richard  J. 

Ruddy  Sheldrake  in  Ireland,  25 ; 
Blackcap  in  Co.  Waterford  in 
December,  27 ;  Red-throated 
Diver  breeding  in  Co.  Donegal, 
27 ;  Gray  Phalaropes  in  Ireland, 
75  ;  Fork-tailed  Petrel  breeding 
on  islands  off  Co.  Kerry,  349 
Vine,  Joseph 

Lesser  Redpoll  in  Middlesex,  428 
Ward,  Henry  A. 

The  West  India  Seal,  191 
Warren,  Robert 

Ornithological  notes  fi-om  Mayo 
and  Sligo,  296 ;  Iceland  Gull  in 
the  Moy  Estuary,  468;  Spotted 
Redshank  in  the  Moy  Estuary, 
Weir,  J.  Jenner,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S. 

Hybrid  Finches,  113 
Whitaker,  J.,  F.Z.S. 

Varieties  of  Common  Wild  Ducks, 
111;  A  pied  Hare,  233;  Plu- 
mage of  the  Tufted  Duck,  235 ; 


Plovers' nests  witli  five  eggs,  267 ; 
Thrush's  nest  without  the  usual 
lining,  268 ;  Norfolk  Plover  nest- 
ing in  Nottinghamshire,  269  ; 
Curious  capture  of  a  Snipe,  346  ; 
Male  Tufted  Duck  retaining  the 
breeding  plumage,  431 

White,  J.  N. 

Blackcap    in    Co.   Waterford    in 
January,  236 
Wilcox,  W.  A. 

A  man  killed  by  a  Swordfish,  307 
Williams  &  Son 

Eare'  birds  in  Ireland,  75 


Abramis  brama,  60 ;  blicca,  60 

Acantliopterygii,  59 

Acipenser  sturio,  59 

Adder,  58 

Adders  in  winter,  154 ;  colour  and 
size  of,  271 

Albatross,  estimated  duration  of  life 
in  an,  76 

Albino  bu'ds  in  Co.  Wicklow,  193 ; 
specimen  of  Short-tailed  Field 
Vole,  152 

Albm-nus  lucidus,  00 

Anacanthini,  59 

Ancestry  of  birds,  271 

Anguilla  vulgaris,  61 

Anguis  fragilis,  58 

Animals,  Vertebrate,  of  Leicester- 
shne,  57 

Antlers  in  Ked-deer,  growth  of  as 
observed  in  confinement,  321 

Aquarium,  to  purify  water  in  an, 
292,  344 

Arctic  birds,  breeding  of  in  Scot- 
land, 21 

Arvicola  glareolus  (with  plate),  861 

Aspidelaps  lubricus,  179 ;  scutatus, 

Athanus  nitescens,  147 

Atractaspis  irregularis,  180 

Autumnal  migration  of  birds  at  Tees- 
mouth,  270 

Avifauna  of  the  Fseroe  Islands,  addi- 
tions, 73,  351 

Axius  stirhynchus  in  Cornwall,  237 

Badger  in  Birmingham,  346 
Barbastelle  in  Sussex,  151 
Barbastellus  communis  66 
Barbel,  59 
Barbus  vulgaris,  59 

Bat,  Bechstein's,  162 ;  Greater 
Horse-shoe,  food  of,  262 ;  Lesser 
Horse-shoe,  distribution  of  in 
Great  Britain,  89;  in  Herts  and 
Kent,  152 ;  in  Wales,  152 ;  Nat- 
terer's,  in  Sussex,  151 ;  Parti- 
coloured, 162 

Batrachia,  58 

Bats,  British,  remarks  on  (with 
plate),  161 :  European,  a  few  words 
on,  61 :  Horse-shoe  (with  plate),  1 ; 
in  winter,  69;  in  captivity,  106; 
notes  on,  in  North  Lincolnshire, 
142;  found  in  Merionethshire,  293, 
346  ;  preyed  upon  by  Owls,  426 

"Becker"  or  "Braise"  iu  Cornwall, 

Bees    occupying    birds'    nests,  238, 

Belostomidae  and  other  fish-destroy- 
ing Bugs,  101 

Birds,  Arctic,  breeding  in  Scotland 
21 ;  observed  in  North  Devon,  71 
which  sing  or  call  at  night,  73 
rare,  in  Ireland,  75 ;    albino,  ob 
served  iir  the  Harrogate  district 
110 ;  albino,  in  Co.  Wicklow,  193 
autumnal  migration  of  at   Tees 
moiith,    270;     ancestry   of,    271 
Roller  and  other,   in  the   Isle  of 
Wight,  386 ;   Ceylon,  folk-lore  of, 
389 ;   report  on  the  migration  of, 
432 ;      uncommon,     near     Scar- 
borough, 467 

Bird's  nest,  singular,  306 

Birds'  nests,  Bees  occupying,  238, 
273  ;  and  eggs,  137 

Bittern  ii\  Norfolk,  75 

Blackbird  laying  in  Thrusli's  nest, 



Blackcap  in  Co.  Waterford  in  De- 
cember, 27 ;  in  January,  236 
Black-veined  White,  scarcity  of,  197 
Bleak,  60 
Blind-worm,  68 
Bluetln-oat  in  Norfolk,  70 
Boidai,  174 
Boodon  lineatus,  178 

Books  reviewed  : — 

Letters  on  Sport  in  Eastern  Ben- 
gal, by  Frank  B.  Simson.  36 

Catalogue  of  the  Birds  of  Suffolk, 
by  Churchill  Babiugton,  D.D., 

British  Birds'  Eggs ;  a  Handbook 
of  British  Oology,  by  A.  G. 
Butler,  40 

A  Nomenclatm-e  of  Colours  for 
Naturalists,  and  Compendium 
of  Useful  Knowledge  for  Or- 
nithologists, by  Robert  Ridgway, 

Die  Waldschnepfe ;  Ein  Mono- 
graphischer  Beitrag  zur  Jagd- 
zoologie,  von  Dr.  Julius  Hoff- 
mann, 313 

A  Year  with  the  Bkds,  by  an 
Oxford  Student,  316 

A  Bibliography  of  the  Books  re- 
lating to  Fancy  Pigeons,  by 
T.  B.  Coombe  Williams,  319 

Rough  Notes  on  the  Birds  observed 
during  Twenty  Years'  Shooting 
and  Collecting  in  the  British 
Islands,  by  E.  T.  Booth,  358 

Ocean  Birds,  by  J.  F.  Green,  395 

Report  on  the  Migration  of  Birds 
in  the  Spring  and  Av;tumn  of 
1886,  by  a  Committee  of  the 
British  Association,  397 

The  Mammoth  and  the  Flood,  by 
Henry  H.  Howorth,  M.P.,  438 
Brambling,  varieties  of  the,  74 
Bream,    Common,    60 ;     Ray's,    at 

Scilly,  393  ;  White,  60 
Breeding  of  Arctic  birds  in  Scotland, 

21 ;   of  Red-throated  Diver  in  Co. 

Donegal,  27 ;  of  Cnl  Bunting  near 

Godalming,  303  ;   habits  of  Siskin 

as  observed  in  Co.  Wicklow,  338 ; 

of  Fork-tailed  Petrel  on  islands  off 

Co.  Kerry,   349;     of  the    Tufted 

Duck  in  Aberdeenshire,  427,  465  ; 

supj)osed,  of  the  Great  Northern 

Diver  in  the  Fseroe  Islands,  464 
Bucephalus  capeusis,  177 
Bugs,  fish-destroying,  101 

Bimting,  Cirl,  breeding  near  Godal- 
ming, 303 ;  Corn,  mimicry  of,  300 ; 
Snow,  on  Ben  Nevis  in  summer, 
28, — breeding  in  confinement,  391 

Burbat,  59 

Bustard,  Little,  in  Sussex,  111 

Buzzard,  Honey,  in  Dorset,  350 

Carp,  69 

Cat  attacked  by  a  Swallow,  345 

Caterpillars,  usefulness  of  Rook  in 

destroying,  109 
Cattle,  Wild  White,  present  condition 

of   the    existing   herds,   401 ;     in 

South-Western  Scotland,  448 
Causus  rhombeatus,  180 
Chaffinch,    song   of,    299,    348,— in 

autumn,  431 
Chiffchaff 's  nest,  curious  site  for,  304 
Chiroptera,  British  species  of,  157 
Choristodon  concolor,  176 
Chub,  60 
Claws,  shedding  of  in  the  Ptarmigan 

and  allied  birds,  268 
Cliff-birds  at  Dover,  294 
Cobitis  tienia,  60 
Coloration  of  the  Viper,  306,  858 
Colubridae,  58,  174 
Coot,  wing-spm-  of  the,  107 
Cormorants    roosting   on  a  church, 

Coronella    cana,    175 ;     phocarum, 

Cottidse,  59 
Cottus  gobio,  59 

Courser,  Cream-coloured,  in  Cardi- 
ganshire, 269 
Crab,  Livid  Swimming,  at  Penzance, 

Crake,  Spotted,  in  Shetland,  72 
Craneflies  preyed  upon  by  Gulls  and 

Terns,  356 
Crenilabrus  exoletus  at  Penzance,  308 
Crossbills  at  Rynn,  Queen's  Co.,  Ill, 

— in  Kent,  432 
Crustacea,  British  Stalk-eyed,  notes 

and  observations  on,  146 ;    fi'om 

the  Channel  Islands,  433 
Curlew,  Eqquimaux,  at  Scilly,  388 
Cyclopterus  lumpus  at  Scilly,  196 
Cypriuidte,  59 
Cyprinus  carpio,  69 

Dace,  60  . 

Dasypeltis  scabra,  179 
Dendraspis  angusticeps,  179 
Dippers,  young,  taking  to  the  water, 



Diver,  Eed-throated,  breeding  in  Co. 
Donegal,  27 ;  Great  Northern,  sup- 
posed breeding  in  the  Faeroe 
Islands,  464 

Dormice  in  a  garden,  106 

Dormouse  in  a  Woodpecker's  nest, 
69 ;  sleep  of  the,  281 ;  range  in 
England,  463 

Dove,  Stock,  nesting  in  East  Lothian, 
235 ;  open  nest  of,  346 ;  and  Tawny 
Owl,  open  nests  of,  432 

Dryophis  kirtlandii,  177 

Duck,  Harlequin,  on  the  Northum- 
brian coast,  70,  196 ;  Long-tailed, 
in  Cumberland,  432;  Tufted, 
plumage  of,  112,  235, — nesting  in 
Kirkcudbrightshire,  342,— on  the 
Solway,  385, — breeding  in  Aber- 
deenshire, 427,  465, — male  retain- 
ing breeding  plumage,  431 ;  Wild, 
variety  of,  69 

Ducks,  Common  Wild,  varieties  of, 
111 ;  Eider,  note  on,  108 

Dysopes  Kiippelii,  62 

Eel,  31 

Egg-drill,  new,  236,  305,  352 

Eggs,  spotted,  Eedstart  laying,  303  ; 
of  the  same  species,  disparity  in 
size  and  colom-  of,  387 

Elaps  dorsalis,  180 ;  higise,  180 ; 
sundwaUii,  180 

Emberiza  melauocephala,  reported 
occurrence  of  in  Scotland,  193 

Enemies  of  the  Toad,  392 

Entomology,  practical,  at  South  Ken- 
sington, 237 

Esocidse,  60 

Esox  lucius,  60 

Essex  Field  Club,  23 

Fseroe  Islands,  additions  to  the  Avi- 
fauna, 73,  351 

Fauna  of  Iceland,  notes,  254 

"  Feral,"  use  of  the  word,  461 

Field  Club,  Esses,  23 

Fieldfares,  immigration,  28 ;  scaxcity, 

Finch,  Citril,  reported  occurrence  of 
near  Brighton,  72 

Finches,  hybrid,  113 

Finwhale  fishery  of  1886  on  the  Lap- 
land coast,  207 

Fisheries,  pearl,  of  Australia,  289 

Fishery,  Seal  and  Whale,  of  1886, 
183  ;  the  Trepaug,  434 

Flycatcher,  Spotted,  food,  269 

Flycatcher's  nest,  unusual  site,  306, 

Folk-lore  of  Ceylon  birds,  389 
Food  of  Greater  Horse-shoe  Bat,  262 ; 
of  Spotted  Flycatcher,    269;     of 
the  Smew,  271 ;   of  the  Mistletoe 
Thrush,  427 
Fur  trade  of  London,  23 

Gadidae,  59 

Gadus  poUachius,  facts  in  the  life- 
history,  241;  breeding,  246 ;  dis- 
eases, 244;  enemies,  245;  growth, 
247;  parasites,  244 

Ganoidei,  59 

Gasterosteidae,  59 

Gosterosteus  aculeatus,  59 

Gatcombe,  Mr.  John,  death  of,  233 

Gobius  fluviatilis,  60  . 

Goldeneyes  and  Ptarmigan  of  Ice- 
land, 422 

Goose,  White-bellied  Brent,  distribu- 
tion of  the,  29,  152 

Grampus  or  Killer  on  the  coast  of 
Norway,  383 

Gray,  Mr.  Robert,  death  of,  106 

Grayling,  61 

Greenfinch,  late  nesting,  429;  and 
Linnet,  hybrid,  303 

Greenfinches,  hybrid,  266 

Greenland  Seas,  notes  on  a  voyage 
to  the,  in  1886,  48,  94,  121  (with 

"  Grouse  disease,"  265,  302 ;  Eeport 
on,  327 

Gudgeon,  60 

GuU,  Little,  in  Co.  Durham,  26 ; 
Mediterranean  Black-headed,  on 
the  Norfolk  coast,  69 ;  Glaucous, 
on  the  Essex  coast,  466 ;  Iceland, 
on  the  Essex  coast,  466, — in  the 
Moy  Estuary,  468 

Gulls  and  Terns,  Craneflies  preyed 
upon  by,  355 

Habits  of  Wildfowl,  3 ;  of  the  Weasel, 
24 ;  of  Testacella  haliotidea,  29 ; 
of  the  Green  Sandpiper,  110; 
change  of  m  Brown  Rat,  189, 234 ; 
of  the  Long-tailed  Field  Mouse 
(with  plate),  201 ;  of  Rooks,  268 

Hare,  Hedgehog  attacking  a,  233 ; 
a  pied,  233 ;  parasitic  disease  in, 

HaiTier,  Montagu's,  in  Notts,  26 ; 
near  Hastings,  28  ;  dark  variety  of 
in  Hants,  352 ;  nesting  in  Dorset- 
shire, 464 

Hawfinch  at  Harrogate,  153  ;  nesting 
in    Surrey,    265,  —  in    Yorkshhe, 



299,— in  Kent,  303,— in  Berkshire, 

Hedgehog  attacking   a  Hare,   233 ; 

mode  in  which  Vipers  are  killed 

by,  306,  392 ;  eating  swedes,  345  ; 

yoiing  of,  424 
Heron,  Purple,  in  Lancashire,  432 
Heterolepis  capensis,  178 ;   gueinzii, 

Holothurians    or    Sea    Slugs   (with 

ilhistrations),  41 
Homalosoma  h;trix,  175 
Hornless  Stags,  381 
Humming-bird,  nesting  of,  459 
Humpback,  212 
Hybrid  finches,  113  ;    Greenfinches, 

266 ;  Greenfinch  and  Linnet,  303 
Hyppolyte  Cranchii,  149  ;  culteUata, 

150 ;    pandaliformis,  150 ;    Pride- 

auxiana,   150;     seciu-ifrons,   150; 

spinus,    148;      Thompsoni,    150; 

varians,  149 

Immigration  of  Fieldfares,  28 
Inachus  dorynchus  at  Penzance,  116 

Jackdaw,  jpaired  varieties,  196; 
taking  possession  of  Magpie's  nest, 

Kestrel,  plumage,  112, 113, 154;  and 

Slow-worm,  263 
Knot  on  the  West  Coast  of  Scotland, 

428,  464 

Lacerta  agilis,  57;  vivipara,  58 

Lacertidse,  57 

Lampern,  61 

Lamprophis  aurora,  177 ;  fiskii,  177 ; 

rufiilus,  177 
Leicestershu-e,    Vertebrate   animals 

of,  57 
Leptodira  piinctata,  178 ;   rufescens, 

178 ;  semiannulata,  179 
Leuciscus   cephalus,   60 ;    erythrop- 

thalmus,  60 ;  phoxinus,  60 ;  rutilus, 

60;  vulgaris,  60 
LimnaeidiE,    secretion   of    a   violet- 
coloured  fluid  by  certain,  309 
Linnet  and  Greenfinch,  hybrid,  303 
Lizard,  Common,  58  ;   Sand,  57 
Loach,  60 :  Spined,  60 
Long-eared   Owl    laying  in   Book's 

nest,  304 
Lota  vulgaris,  59 
Lumpsucker   on   the  Welsh  coast, 

Lycophidium  capensis,  177 

Magpie's  nest.  Jackdaw  taking  pos- 
session of,  267 
Mares  and  Foals  versus  Wolves,  151 
Marine  MoUusca  of  Kerry,  115 
Marten  Cat  in  Breconshire,  190 
Martin,   Sand,   attempt  to  keep  in 

confinement,  347 
Martins,  House,  nesting  in  October, 

194 ;  late  stay,  467 
Martins'  nests.  Swifts  nesting  in,  348, 

391,  428 
Migration,    autumnal,    of  birds   at 

Teesmouth,  270 ;  report  on,  432 
Migration  of  Wildfowl,  3 
Miller's-thumb,  59 
Mimicry  of  the  Corn  Bunting,  800 
Minnow,  60 

Mole,  Talpa  europaea  {Linn.),  441 
Moles,  Weasels  killing,  68 
MoUusca,   Marine,   of  Kerry,    115 ; 

Middlesex,  354 
Moorhen  nesting  in  a  disused  punt, 

77;  wing-spur  of  the,  107 
More,  Mr.  A.  G.,  retirement,  355 
Mouse,  Long-tailed  Field,  habits  of 

the  (with  plate),  201 
Mursenidse,  61 
Myoxus  glis,  sleep,  281 

Naia  haie,  179 

Nemachilus  barbatulus,  60 

Nest  of  Woodpecker,  Dormouse  in, 
69 ;  of  Thrush,  Blackbird  laying 
in,  194;  Woodcock  and  Pheasant 
laying  in  the  same,  194 ;  of  Mag- 
pie, Jackdaw  taking  possession  of, 
267;  Chiffchaff's,  ciu-ious  site,  304; 
Eook's,  Long-eared  Owl  laying  in, 
304;  bird's,  singiilar,  306;  Fly- 
catcher's, unusual  site,  306 ;  Swal- 
low's, unusual  site  for,  467 

Nesting  of  Sedge  Warbler,  28;  of 
Lesser  Kedpoll  in  Surrey,  69, — in 
Middlesex,  428  ;  of  Moorhen  in  a 
disused  punt,  77;  of  Thrush  on 
the  ground,  112 ;  of  Hoitse  Martins 
in  October,  194 ;  of  Stock  Dove  in 
East  Lotliian,  235 ;  of  Marsh  War- 
bler in  Gloiicestershire,  264;  of 
Hawfinch  in  Surrey,  265 ;  of  Nor- 
folk Plover  in  Nottinghamshire, 
269 ;  of  Hawfinch  in  Kent,  303 ; 
of  Common  Sandpiper,  305 ;  of 
Tufted  Duck  in  Kirkcudbright- 
shire, 342 ;  of  Wryneck  in  holes 
in  the  ground,  391 ;  late,  of  Green- 
finch, 429 ;  habits  of  the  Hum- 
ming-bird,   459 ;      of    Montagu's 



Harrier  in  Dorsetshire,  464;  of 
Lesser  KedpoU  and  Hawfinch  in 
Berkshire,  466 

Nesting-site,  imnsual,  for  the  Tree 
Sparrow,  265 ;  for  Wryneck,  299 

Nests,  Birds',  Bees  occupying,  238, 
273 ;  Plovers',  with  five  eggs,  267, 
349;  of  Thrushes  without  the 
usual  lining,  268 ;  open,  of  the 
StarHng,  Stock  Dove,  and  Tawny 
Owl,  347 ;  Martins',  Swifts  nesting 
m,  348,  391,  428 ;  open,  of  Tawny 
Owl  and  Stock  Dove,  432 

Nightingale  singing  in  July,  306 ;  in 
Scotland,  384 

Nika  Couchii,  147  ;  eduhs,  145 

Noctule,  northern  limit  of  the  range 
of  the,  in  Great  Britain,  260 

Notes  on  a  voyage  to  the  Greenland 
Seas  in  1866,  48,  94,  121  (with 
plate) ;  on  Bats  in  North  Lincoln- 
shu-e,  142  ;  on  the  Seal  and  Whale 
fishery  of  1886,  182 ;  on  the  Orni- 
thology of  Northamptonshire  and 
neighbourhood,  249,  452 ;  on  the 
Fauna  of  Iceland,  254;  from 
Western  Australia,  352 

Octopus  at  Penzance,  309 ;  Hawaiian 
mode  of  fishing  for,  354 

Ophidia,  58 

Ornithological  notes  from  Brecon- 
shire,  298  ;  from  Devon  and  Corn- 
wall, 375  ;  from  Hiinstanton,  Nor- 
folk, 384 ;  from  Mayo  and  Sligo, 
296;  from  Norfolk  and  Suffolk, 
415;  from  North  Norfolk,  140; 
from  Oxfordshire,  288,  301 

Ornithology  of  Northamptonshhe 
and  neighbourhood,  249,  452 

Osprey  in  Hertfordshire,  390 ;  cap- 
tm-ed  in  the  Bristol  Channel,  433 

Otters,  young,  in  August,  67 

Ouzel,  Ring,  note,  305 

Owl,  Tawny,  open  nests,  347 ;  and 
of  Stock  Dove,  432 

Owl,  Bats  preyed  upon  by,  426 

Partridges  with  "white  horse-shoes," 

Pearl  fisheries  of  Austraha,  289 
Perca  fluviatilis,  59 
Perch,  59 
Percidae,  59 
Petrel,  Fulmar,  near  Hastings,  28 ; 

Fork-tailed,  breeding   on   islands 

off    Co.  Kerry,   349;     Storm,   in 

London,  27 

Petromyzon  fluviatilis,  61 

Petromyzontidse,  61 

Phalaropes  near  Hastings,  28 ;  Grey, 
in  Ireland,  75 

Pheasant  and  Woodcock  laying  in 
same  nest,  194 

Philothamnus  hoplogaster,  176 ; 
natalensis,  176 

Physostomi,  59 

Pigeons,  Wood,  casting  up  pellets, 
193,  236 

Pipit,  Tawny,  near  Brighton,  432; 
Tree,  note,  433 

Pisces,  59 

Plecotus,  genus,  165 

Plecotus  auritus,  66,  294 

Plover,  Norfolk,  nesting  in  Notting- 
hamshire, 269 

Plovers'  nests  with  five  eggs,  276,  349 

Plumage  of  the  Tufted  Duck,  112, 
235;  of  the  Kestrel,  112, 113, 154 

Pochard,  White-eyed,  m  Norfolk,  195 

Pollack,  facts  m  the  life-history,  241 

Porphyrio,  Green-backed,  195 

Psamophis  crucifer,  176 ;  sibilans, 

Psammophylax  multimaculatus,175 ; 
rhombeatus,  170 

Ptarmigan,  former  existence  of  in 
South-West  Scotland,  81,  194; 
alleged  existence  of  in  Cumber- 
land, 153 ;  and  allied  birds,  on  the 
shedding  of  the  claws  in  the,  258 ; 
and  Goldeneyes  of  Iceland,  422 

Pufhn  in  London,  263;  on  the 
Thames  in  July,  263;  Pied,  at 
St.  Kilda,  347 ;  and  Whimbrel  in 
Somersetshire,  466 

Python  natalensis,  174 

Rabbit  destruction  in  Australia,  cost, 

Rail,  Water,  wing-spiu-,  107 
Rat,  Brown,  change  of  habits,  189, 

234;     Black,    in    Wexford,    425; 

Musk,  and  the  Unio,  425 
Razorbill  at  St.  ICilda,  347 
Red-deer  as  observed  in  confinement, 

growth  of  antlers,  321 ;    a  herd  of 

from  a  single  hmd,  344 
Redpoll,  Lesser,  nesting  in  Sm-rey, 

69— in  Middlesex,  428,— in  Berk- 

shke,  466 
Redshank,     Spotted,     in    the    Moy 

Estuary,  468 
Redstart,  Black,  in  Co.  Waterford, 

196  ;  laying  spotted  eggs,  303 
Reptilia,  57 



Bhamphiophis  multimaculatis,  176 

Bhinolophidse,  166,  167 

Ehinolophus,  genus,  166 

Ehinolophiis  bihastatus,  63 ;  euryale, 
63  ;  ferrum-equinum,  2,  63 ;  hippi- 
soderos,  2,  294 

Roach,  60 

Boe-deer  in  Cumberland,  382 

Boiler  and  other  birds  in  the  Isle  of 
Wight,  386 

Book,  usefulness  in  destroying  cater- 
pillars, 109 ;  Long-eared  Owl  lay- 
ing in  nest  of,  304 

Books,  habits  of,  268 

Borqual,  Common,  at  Skegness,  190, 
— in  Norway,  215 ;  Rudolphi's, 
219  ;  Small,  at  Plymouth,  262 

Budd,  60 

Salmo  fario,  61 ;  salar,  61 

Salmon,  61 

Salmonidffi,  61 

Sandpiper,  Common,  nesting  of,  305 ; 
Curlew,  iu  Shetland,  72;  Green, 
habits  of,  110 ;  Pectoral,  in  Nor- 
folk, 433 ;  Purple,  in  the  Channel 
Islands,  76 

Sauria,  57 

Scabbard-fish  on  the  Cornish  coast, 

Scarcity  of  Fieldfares,  71 

Scincidae,  58 

Scotophilus  noctula,  142 ;  pipistrel- 
lus,  143 

Seal,  West  India,  191 

Seal  and  Whale  fishery  of  1886, 
notes  on,  183 

Sepedon  haemachetes,  179 

Serotine,  the  supposed,  in  the  New- 
castle Museum,  234 

Shark,  Thresher,  at  Portland,  393 

Shearwater,  Manx,  in  Gloucester, 
388, — in  Herefordshire,  430, — in 
Staffordshire,  430 ;  Sooty,  at  Flam- 
borough,  430 

Sheldrake,  Buddy,  in  Ireland,  25 ; 
or  "Bar-goose"  on  the  Essex 
coast,  195 

Shrike,  Great  Grey,  in  Kent,  154 

Siskin,  breeding  habits  of  as  observed 
in  Co.  Wicklow,  338 

Sleep  of  the  Dormouse,  281 

Slow-worm   and   Kestrel,   263 ;    at- 
tacked by  a  Missel  Thrush,  307 
Slugs,  Sea  (with  illustrations),  41 
Smew,  food,  271 

Snails,  muscular  power,  114 ;  rate  of 
progress,  309 

Snake,  Common,  51 

Snakes  of  South  Africa,  synopsis, 

Snipe,  curious  capture,  346 

Societies,  Scientific  : — 
Entomological,   34,  80,  119,  159, 
199,   239,    277,   312,    357,   393, 
436,  471 
Linnean, 30, 77, 117, 155, 273, 469 
Zoological,  31,  79,  118,  156,  197, 
238,  275,  310,  469 

Song  of  the  Chaffinch,  299,  348,  431 

Sparrow,  House,  misdeeds  of,  390 ; 
Tree,  unusual  nesting  site,  265 

Sponges,  striicture  and  life-history, 

Squu'rels  at  a  distance  from  trees, 

Stags,  hornless,  381 

Starling,  open  nest,  347 

Stenostoma  nigricans,  173 

StenotomatidjE,  173 

Stickleback,  Three-spined,  59 

Stoat,  white,  iu  August,  345 

Sturgeon,  59 

Surmullet,  Plain,  on  the  Devonshii-e 
coast,  155 

Swallow  in  Somersetshire  in  Decem- 
ber, 269;  Cat  attacked  by,  345; 
unusual  site  for  nest  of,  467 

Swallows  and  Swifts  in  captivity, 

Swans  with  white  cygnets,  463 

Swan,  Bewick's,  in  Norfolk,  195 

Swift,  late  stay  of  in  Ireland,  428 

Swifts  nesting  in  Martins'  nests,  348, 
391,  428;  and  Swallows  in  cap- 
tivity, 372 

Swordfish,  a  man  killed  by,  307 

Synotus,  genus,  165 

Talpa  europaea,  441 

Tarantula,  Wasp  attacking,  310 

Temnorhynchus  sundevallii,  175 

Tench,  60 

Tern,  Black,  near  Gloucester,  299 ; 
Gull-billed,  m  Belfast  Lough,  433 ; 
White-winged,  in  Cornwall  and 
Scilly,  387  :  Caspian,  iu  England, 

Terns,  Lesser  and  Black,  near 
Gloucester,  387 ;  Noddy  and  Sooty, 
nidificalion  in  the  West  Indies,  429 

Testacella  haliotidea,  habits,  29 

Thrush,  Blackbird  laying  in  the  nest 
of,  194 ;  nesting  on  the  ground, 
112 ;  White's,  in  the  SciUy  Islands, 
114;  Missel,  occasionally  a  bird  of 



prey,  263,  304, — feeding  on  Pieris 
rapee,  429, — Slow-worm  attacked 
by,  307 ;  Mistletoe,  food,  427 

Thrush's  nests  without  the  usual 
lining,  268 

Thymallus  vulgaris,  61 

Tinea  vulgaris,  60 

Tit,  Marsh,  the  British,  379 

Toad,  enemies  of  the,  392 

Trochilus  colubris,  nesting  habits, 

Troglodytes  parvulus  a  migrant,  431 

Tropidonotus  natrix,  58 

Trout,  Common,  61 

Tunny,  at  Penzance,  307 

Typhlopidae,  173 

Tyj)hlops  bibronii,  174;  capensis, 
174;  delalandii,  174;  mossam- 
bicus,  174 ;  verticalis,  174 

Unio  and  the  Musk  Eat,  425 

Uriechis  capensis,  176 ;  microlepi- 
dotus,  175 

Varieties  of  the  Brambling,  74;  of 
common  Wild  Ducks,  111 ;  paired, 
of  Jackdaw,  196 ;  of  the  Viper,  237 

Variety  of  Wild  Duck,  69 ;  dark,  of 
Montagu's  Harrier,  in  Hants,  352 

Vertebrate  animals  of  Leicester- 
shire, 57 

Vespertilio,  genus,  164 

Verpertilio  bechsteini,  162 ;  dasyc- 
neme,  162  ;  daubentonii,  143,  293  ; 
kuhlii,  66 ;  murinus,  64,  161, — 
reported  occurrence  of  in  Dorset- 
shire, 234 ;  mystacinus,  66,  294 ; 
Nattereri,  64,  143 ;  noctula,  63 ; 
pipistrellus,  65,  293 ;  Schreibersii, 
65 ;  serotinus,  65 

Vespertilionidse,  163,  167 

Vesperugo,  genus,  163 

Vesperugo  discolor,  162 ;  noctula,  293 

Viper,  varieties,  237 ;  coloration,)306, 
353  ^ 

Vipers,  mode  in  which  they  are 
killed  by  the  Hedgehog,  306,  392 

Vipera  arietans,  181 ;  atropoides, 
181 ;  atropos,  181 ;  berus,  68 ; 
caudalis,  181 ;  cornuta,  182 ;  in- 
ornata,  181 ;  schneideri,  181 

Viperidse,  58,  181 

Vole,  Bank  (with  plate),  361, — dis- 
tribution, 425, — in  Durham,  462, — 
in  Northamptonshire,  463,  —  in 
Sussex,  462 ;  Short-tailed  Field, 
albino  specimen,  152 

Voyage  to  the  Greenland  Seas  in 
1886,  48,  94,  121  (with  plate) 

Warbler,  Marsh,  in  Gloucestershire, 
nesting,  264 ;  Sedge,  nesting,  28 

Wasp  attacking  a  Tarantula,  310 

Water  in  an  aquarium,  to  purify, 

Waxwing  in  Aberdeenshire,  70 

Weasel,  habits,  24 

Weasels  killing  Moles,  68 

Whale,  Blue,  213 ;  and  Seal  Fishery 
of  1886, 183 

Wheatear,  spring  moult,  300 

Whimbrel  and  Puffin  in  Somerset- 
shire, 466 

Wildfowl,  habits  and  migrations,  3 

Wild  White  Cattle,  British,  present 
condition  of  the  existing  herds, 
401, — in  South- Western  Scotland, 

Wing-spur  of  the  Coot,  Moorhen, 
and  Water  Rail,  107 

Woodcock  and  Plaeasant  laying  in 
same  nest,  194 

Woodpecker,  Green,  an  egg-sucker, 

Woodpecker's  nest.  Dormouse  in,  69 

Wryneck,  unusual  nesting-site,  299  ; 
nesting  in  holes  in  the  groimd,  391 

Young  of  the  Hedgehog,  424 


To  face  Page 

The  Greater  Horse-shoe  Bat,  Bhinolejphus  ferrutn-eqioinum  .  1 

Greenland  Whale,  BalcBiia  mysticetus 121 

The  Noctule,  Vesperugo  noctula 161 

The  Long-tailed  Field  Mouse,  Mus  sylvaticus          ,        .         .  201 

The  Bank  Vole,  Arvicola  glareolus 361 

The  Mole,  Tal;pa  europcea 441 

Zool.JaiiLia.T'v  1887. 


'  ."OL^p  ^a  nat  del . 
ITutohinson  Hth. 

■|'he   Greater  Hor-se-sVioe  BsLt. 

West.Newm^Ti  &  Cc 



Vol.  XL]  JANUARY,    1887.  [No.  J21. 


By  the  Editor. 

(Plate  I.) 

Notwithstanding  the  close  attention  which  is  now-a-clays 
paid  to  British  Zoology  by  observers  in  all  parts  of  the  country, 
the  Bats  (with  two  or  three  exceptions)  are  still  very  imperfectly 
known.  Their  crepuscular  habits,  their  rapid  movements  on 
the  wing,  and  their  retired  and  frequently  inaccessible  haunts, 
render  them  at  all  times  difficult  to  procure  for  identification 
or  examination. 

In  the  last  edition  of  Bell's  'British  Quadrupeds'  (1874) 

fourteen  species  are  recognised  as  British,  and  are  placed  in 

five    different    genera.      Of    these    the    two    Horse-shoe    Bats 

belonging  to  the  genus  EhmolopJrus  are  amongst  the  rarest  or 

least  known.     The  generic  characters  indicated  by  Bell  are  as 

follows : — 

2  5-5 

"Incisors  -j-,    molars  rr-?;.      Nostrils   with  two   foliaceous 
4  6-6 

appendages;  the  posterior  one  erect  and  pointed  posteriorly, 
the  anterior  one  horse-shoe  shaped,  and  expanded  over  the  top 
of  the  nose.  Ears  lateral,  free ;  tragus  wanting.  Wing-mem- 
branes extending  only  to  the  distal  extremity  of  the  tibia ;  tail 
short,  enclosed  in  the  membrane." 

The  use  of  the  singular  leaf-Hke  appendage  upon  the  nose 
has  not  been  satisfactorily  determined.     GeoftVoy  supposed  it 

ZOOLOGIST. — JAN.   1887.  ^ 


was  intended  to  close  the  nostrils  -when  not  in  use ;  Bell  regards 
it  as  a  delicate  organ  of  touch,  enabling  the  owner  to  avoid 
collisions  when  threading  its  way  through  intricate  places. 

Two  species  of  the  genus  are  found  in  the  British  Islands, 

the   Greater    and    the    Lesser   Horse-shoe   Bats,    Rhinolophus 

ferrum-equinum  and  R.  Jtij^posideros.     Both  are  partial  to  dark 

caverns  and  deserted  buildings,  shunning  the  hght  as  much  as 

possible,  and  flying  late  in  the  evening  until  dark. 

On  the  wing^the  Greater  Horse-shoe  Bat  appears  as  large  as 
a  Noctule,  equalling  that  species  in  expanse  of  wing,  but  to  a 
practised  eye  it  is  distinguishable  by  the  proportionately  greater 
width  of  the  flying  membrane.  It  was  first  made  known  as  a 
British  species  by  Latham,  who  procured  specimens  in  the 
saltpetre-houses  at  the  powder-mills  at  Dartford,  clinging  in  a 
torpid  state  in  winter  to  the  roof.  Since  then  it  has  been  met 
with  and  procured  in  several  other  localities  in  the  southern  and 
western  counties  of  England,  including  Dorset,  Devon,  Cornwall, 
and  Glamorganshire,  being  considered  rare  in  the  midland 
counties,  and  altogether  unknown  in  the  north.  (See  '  Zoologist,' 
1884,  p.  483). 

The  Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat,  R.  hqjposideros,  which  was  for 

some  time  regarded  as  a  small  variety  of  the  larger  species,  was 

first  recognised  in  England  by  Montagu,  who  procured  specimens 

in  Wiltshire,  and  like  its  larger  congener  is  chiefly  restricted  to 

the  southern  counties  of  England. 

In  Ireland  the  larger  species  is  unknown,   but  the  smaller 

one  has  been  found  in  Galway  by  Prof.  King,  and  in  different 
parts  of  Clare  by  Mr.  Foot  and  Prof.  Kinahan.  (See  Proc.  Nat. 
Hist.  Soc,  Dublin,  vol.ii.  p.  152,  and  'Zoologist,'  1861,  p.  7617). 
All  the  caves  in  which  specimens  were  found  (in  Clare)  were  in 
plantations,  or  near  them,  and  most  of  them  had  the  entrances 
hung  with  plants.  Prom  the  observations  of  Prof.  Kinahan  it 
appears  that  the  sexes  hybernate  apart.  The  particular  respects 
in  which  the  two  species  of  Rhinolophus  differ  have  been  pointed 
out  by  Bell  {op.  cit.  p.  100),  and  need  not  therefore  be  repeated 

As  few  really  good  figures  of  Bats  are  accessible,  those  in 
Bell's  work  being  almost  too  small  to  be  of  much  use,  it  is  very 
desirable  that  no  opportunity  should  be  lost  of  obtaining  correct 
drawings  of  the  rarer  species  whenever  they  can  be  procured 


alive,  or  in  a  fresh  condition,  so  as  to  secure  an  accurate  delinea- 
tion of  the  natural  features  before  they  become  distorted  or 
shrunk  in  the  process  of  drying.  As  a  first  contribution  to  such 
a  series,  we  give  a  plate  of  Rhiiiolophnsferncin-equimim,  drawn 
by  Mr.  G.  E.  Lodge  from  a  living  specimen  procured  by  the 
Eev.  H.  A.  Macpherson  in  South  Devon  in  August  last. 

The  measurements,  taken  after  death,  from  another  specimen 
procured  at  the  same  time  and  place,  and  now  preserved  in  the 
Natural  History  Museum,  South  Kensington,  are  (compared  with 
the  measurements  given  by  Bell)  as  under  : — 

Leugtli  of  head 

and  b( 

3dy  - 

2-5  iu. 


ngth  of  humerus 

-     1.3  iu. 





1-2  „ 


forearm   - 

-     1-9  „ 





•9  „ 


longest  digit 

-     31  „ 





•9  „ 



-       -9  „ 

Width  of 

ear   - 



•3  „ 



of  wing 

•   11'5  „ 

On  comparing  these  measurements  with  those  given  by  Bell, 
it  should  be  noted  that  the  latter  are  given  in  inches  and  lines. 
The  expanse  of  wing  is  apparently  very  variable.  One  procured 
in  Dorchester  by  Mr.  James  Salter  measured  in  extent  of  wing 
14|  inches.  The  weight  of  the  specimen  above  referred  to  from 
Devonshire  was  little  more  than  half  an  ounce  the  day  after 

By  Alfked  Crawhall  Chapman. 

In  Northumberland  the  autumnal  immigration  of  fowl  com- 
mences in  July,  and  is  continued  throughout  the  remaining 
months  of  the  year.  Waders  generally  arrive  before  the  migratory 
ducks  and  geese,  and  it  is  usually  the  latter  end  of  September 
before  any  of  the  latter  appear  upon  our  coasts. 

Wigeon  are  usually  the  first  to  make  their  appearance,  and 
they  are,  I  think,  followed  by  arrivals  of  foreign-bred  Mallard. 
Then,  about  the  middle  of  October,  the  Scaup  and  Goldeneye 
arrive,  and  at  any  time  after  this  date  the  resident  winter 
ducks  and  divers  may  be  looked  for.  Teal  are  of  course  to 
be    found    during    the    month    of    August    and    onwards,    but 


I  have  not  been  able  to  discriminate  between  home  and  foreign- 
bred  Teal,  and  therefore  their  date  of  arrival  is  not  easy  to 
define  exactlj\ 

This  year  (1886)  the  first  flight  of  Wigeon  arrived  on  the 
11th  September.  This  is  an  earlier  date  than  usual  for  them, 
and  generally  they  may  not  be  expected  for  at  least  ten  days  to  a 
fortnight  later.  This  was  only  a  small  companj^,  however,  and 
not  until  Sept.  19th  did  another  small  lot  of  about  thirty  birds 
arrive.  On  October  4th  several  comj)anies  arrived  on  the  coast, 
and  after  this  date  there  is  a  constant  increment  of  Wigeon,  until 
their  regular  winter  numbers  are  made  up.  It  is  generally' 
supposed  that  Wigeon  are  night- feeding  birds,  and  that  they 
spend  the  day  at  rest  in  some  open  extent  of  water,  free  from 
molestation.  On  this  coast,  however,  when  they  first  ai'rive  their 
habits  are  very  different  from  this,  and  they  prefer  to  feed  on  the 
ooze  during  the  daytime,  spending  the  night  at  rest  on  some 
secluded  pond  or  lake.  I  have  come  to  this  conclusion  after 
carefully  studying  their  habits,  and  I  have  frequently  seen  them, 
after  quietly  feeding  all  day,  leave  the  ooze  just  before  dusk,  and 
betake  themselves  to  a  neighbouring  pond,  where  they  spend  the 
night,  returning  to  the  ooze  to  feed  shortly  after  daybreak. 
During  this  period,  however,  their  numbers  are  wofully  reduced 
by  punt-gunners,  and  by  the  end  of  November — by  which  time 
mostly  all  the  regular  winter  stock  has  arrived — they  have 
assumed  the  habit  of  feeding  almost  exclusively  by  night, 
spending  the  day  on  the  open  sea. 

It  would  be  interesting  to  know  what  course  tliey  would 
pursue  if  left  entirely  unmolested.  From  their  habits  during  the 
early  weeks  of  their  arrival  I  cannot  help  thinking  that  they  are 
forced  by  man  to  assume  a  habit  at  variance  with  what  appears 
to  be  their  wont,  and  the  same  remarks  apply  to  Grey  Geese 
feeding  inland,  as  I  hope  to  show  farther  on. 

Tidal  influences,  of  course,  affect  the  Wigeon,  and  there  is  no 
doubt  that  during  a  short  winter's  day,  when  their  feeding-grounds 
are  submerged,  they  would  resort  at  night  to  the  uncovered  oozes 
to  feed ;  but,  given  the  opportunity,  they  unquestionably  avail 
themselves  of  a  diurnal  feed,  until  they  are  scared  away  by  the 
deadly  fire  of  punt-gunners. 

Moreover,  the  flocks  tliat  arrive  first  are  composed  mostly 
of  young  birds  of  the  year,  inexperienced  to  the  dangers  of  an 


approaching  punt-gun.  These  are  the  bii'ds  which,  feeding  by 
day,  suffer  most,  but  as  soon  as  the  older  birds  arrive — though 
they  too,  with  the  young  birds,  resort  at  first  to  day-feeding — it 
only  takes  a  very  short  time  to  put  them  well  on  the  alert,  and 
after  that  not  a  Wigeon  will  be  found  on  the  oozes,  channels,  or 
mudflats  during  daytime,  except  under  the  circumstances  of 
exceptional  stress  of  weather,  when,  weakened  and  reduced  by  a 
state  of  semi-starvation,  they  are  glad  to  avail  themselves  of 
either  diurnal  or  nocturnal  feeds.  I  am  aware  that  this  does  not 
harmonize  with  much  that  has  been  written  on  the  subject,  but  I 
can  only  say  that  it  is  what  actually  takes  place  in  the  tidal 
estuaries  of  Northumberland. 

Though  the  earliest  comers  are  mostly  young  birds,  yet  there 
are  some  old  ones  amongst  them,  and  as  early  as  Sept.  SOth  I 
have  seen  the  white  speculum  in  the  wings  of  some  "Wigeon,  a 
sure  sign  of  maturity. 

Wigeon  feed  on  grass,  and  they  can  frequently  be  seen  during 
the  day  paddling  and  swimming  along  the  margins  of  a  mudbank, 
pulling  off  the  salt-grass  fi'om  its  edges. 

In  the  autumn  of  1881,  a  small  flight  of  Wigeon  were  ob- 
served to  alight  on  the  ornamental  water  in  Roker  Park,  in  the 
suburbs  of  Sunderland.  The  pond  was  frozen  at  the  time,  and 
one  of  the  birds  (a  female)  was  taken  at  night  in  a  net.  A  drake 
was  procured  from  Norway,  and  in  the  summer  of  1885  the  duck 
made  a  nest,  laid  seven  eggs,  and  hatched  out  five  young. 

They  are  all  healthy  and  flourishing  as  I  write.  On  July  2nd, 
1886,  the  same  old  duck  was  again  missing.  She  had  made  a 
nest  on  the  side  of  one  of  the  artificial  channels  in  the  park,  and 
though  she  laid  eight  eggs  they  never  hatched.  Strange  to  say, 
about  October  16th  ult.,  another  wild  female  Wigeon  joined  the 
original  seven,  and  has  remained  with  them  ever  since  ;  they  are 
all  quite  tame.  About  the  same  date, — viz.  the  16th  October 
last, — an  immature  Goldeneye  suddenly  appeared  on  this  piece  of 
water ;  it  too  has  remained  ever  since,  and  appears  to  have  taken 
up  its  quarters  for  good.  At  present  it  will  not  actually  come 
close  up  to  one,  as  the  Wigeon  do,  but  swims  about  and  dives 
unconcernedly  within  a  few  paces ;  nor  does  it  associate  with  any 
of  the  other  dxicks  on  the  pond,  but  always  remains  alone. 

Now  as  to  Mallards ;  an  old  drake  shot  September  20th  this 
year   did   not    show  a  trace   of  green  about  his   head,  and  the 


plumage  generally  resembled  that  of  the  duck.  Another  killed 
on  October  22nd  was  already  in  his  handsome  winter  plumage, 
every  feather  clean  and  perfect. 

This  change  of  plumage  is  perhaps  one  of  the  most  extra- 
ordinary we  have  in  Nature,  and  it  is  well  set  out  in  '  The 
Zoologist'  for  June  last  (pp.  228 — 233).  It  is  said— and  I  think 
with  perfect  right— that  Mallards  are  night-feeding  birds, 
spending  the  daytime  in  secluded  rest.  Though  I  have  frequently 
met  with  tliem  during  the  daytime,  sitting  both  on  the  salt-slakes 
and  on  the  banks  of  streamlets  winding  through  the  sandwashes, 
I  never  saw  them  feeding  at  this  time.  They  are  generally  sitting 
all  huddled  up,  their  heads  stowed  away  under  their  scapulars, 
simply  passing  the  time  away  until  "  the  sun  takes  the  hill,"  when 
they  betake  themselves  to  the  outlet  of  some  freshwater  stream 
running  down  from  the  country  into  the  salt-slakes.  Where  such 
a  place  as  this  exists  Mallards  are  nearly  sure  to  frequent  it  at 
night,  and  none  know  this  better  than  the  flight-shooters.  Many 
a  countryman  after  his  day's  work  is  done  shoulders  his  muzzle- 
loader,  and  if  the  moon  is  favourable  he  has  a  fair  chance  of 
getting  a  shot,  aye,  and  sometimes  half  a  dozen  or  more  shots  at 
Mallards  as  they  come  to  feed  at  their  favourite  stream.  Though 
Mallards  have  a  distinct  predilection  for  freshwater  food,  yet 
they  do  not  hesitate  to  frequent  also  the  saltwater  pools  and 
runners  left  by  the  ebb. 

Pochards  are  seldom  met  with  on  the  coast  of  Northumber- 
land, and  are  never  numerous.  On  the  22nd  October  last  a 
duck  flew  past  me  when  in  the  punt  which  I  think  can  have  been 
no  other  than  a  Pochard,  though  this  is  the  only  time  I  have  ever 
come  across  it,  and  on  the  7th  October  last  one  was  killed  by  a 
local  gunner  near  Ryhope,  Co.  Durham. 

During  the  month  of  September,  Teal  are  to  be  found 
regularly  in  the  salt-slakes,  and  it  is  rather  singular  what  becomes 
of  these  birds  in  the  later  autumn  months.  Towards  the  end  of 
the  month  of  August,  and  right  through  September,  Teal  are 
perhaps  the  most  numerous  of  the  Duck  tribe  on  the  coast. 
These  are  probably  the  birds  that  have  been  bred  on  our  upland 
moors,  but  after  September  they  generally  disappear.  Though 
the  difl"erence  between  home  and  foreigu-bred  Mallards  is  suffi- 
ciently palpable,  I  have  never  been  able  to  discriminate  between 
home   and   foreign-bred  Teal,  and  it  seems  as  if  the  coast  of 


Northumberland  was  not  liarticularly  well  adapted  to  their  habits, 
as  they  certainly  never  appear  all  through  the  winter  months  in 
anything  like  large  numbers.  Little  bunches  of  four  or  five  are 
occasionally  met  with,  but  thej'  are  never  so  numerous  as  are 
Wigeon  and  Mallard.  During  ten  days'  shooting  in  October  last 
I  never  saw  a  Teal,  while  in  September  I  saw  them  every  day. 
When  in  company  they  sometimes  keep  up  a  regular  chorus  as 
they  "  chatter  "  to  each  other.  Six  Scaup  Ducks  arrived  on  the 
coast  on  the  19th  October  last;  previous  to  this  date  none  had 
been  seen. 

I  came  across  six  Scaups,  probably  the  same  birds,  early 
in  the  morning  of  October  23rd.  They  were  very  tame,  and 
allowed  the  punt  to  come  quite  near  them,  when  I  secured 
two  of  them.  No.  1  was,  from  its  general  appearance,  an  adult 
female.  The  beak  was  blue,  with  a  black  tip ;  a  black  line  ran 
along  the  centre  line  of  the  upper  mandible,  and  the  edges  of  the 
mandibles  were  also  black.  The  whole  of  the  head  and  neck  was 
brown,  with  the  exception  of  the  white  face  extending  all  round 
the  forehead,  and  reaching  nearly  as  far  as  the  eyes,  which  were 
straw-yellow,  as  in  an  adult.  The  legs  and  feet  were  pale  blue, 
with  the  usual  duskj'^  black  marks  on  the  joints  of  the  toes.  But 
on  close  examination  faint  black  bars  might  be  seen,  especially 
about  the  ear-coverts  and  lower  part  of  the  neck,  but  these  marks 
were  still  hardly  visible  on  the  crown  of  the  head.  The  upper 
back  was  plain  brown,  and  the  breast  was  a  mixture  of  very  light 
and  very  dark  browns,  but  the  edges  of  each  of  the  latter  feathers 
were  white.  The  stomach  to  vent  was  white.  The  flanks  were 
brown,  but  the  edges  and  centres  of  these  feathers  were  gradually 
turning  a  fine  silver-brindled  grey.  The  back  itself  was  brown, 
each  feather  assuming  a  brindled  grey  colour.  The  primaries 
were  brown,  with  deep  brown  shafts ;  secondaries  white,  but 
tipped  with  black  ;  tertiaries  and  scapulars  a  deep  bronze  colour 
with  a  fine  sheen,  the  greater  coverts  being  the  same.  The  tail 
was  brown.     Yet  this  bird  on  dissection  proved  a  male. 

No.  2,  which  was  a  female  containing  five  eggs  large  enough 
to  be  detected  with  the  naked  eye,  weighed  1  lb.  14  oz.,  and  was 
considerably  smaller  than  the  male.  Two  yellowish  white  spots 
were  conspicuous  in  this  bird  on  either  side  of  the  head  between 
the  beak  and  the  eye,  but  this  lightness  of  colour  (the  rest  of  the 
head  being  buff  brown)  did  not  join  over  the  upper  mandible  as 


in  the  male  described.  Moreover  the  bill  in  the  female  was  a 
dull  leaden  colour,  and  the  irides  were  a  much  darker  colour  than 
in  the  male.  The  whole  of  the  upper  plumage  was  brown  but 
for  tlie  white  secondaries,  which  were  tipped  with  black,  and  here 
and  there  the  brindled  grey  showed  itself  on  the  upper  part  of 
the  back. 

Judging  from  these  birds  and  from  other  Scaups  which  I  have 
seen,  I  believe  their  changes  of  plumage,  which  have  been  in- 
accuratel}'  described  by  various  writers,  to  be  somewhat  as  under. 
Further  observation,  however,  is  required  to  confirm  tlie  opinion 
here  expressed. 

During  their  first  autumn  and  winter  the  young  males  and 
females  are  probably  much  alike,  both  having  a  dusky  brown 
head  and  neck,  but  at  this  period  I  do  not  think  they  show  any 
signs  of  the  white  face. 

By  October,  in  their  second  autumn,  young  males  have  the 
brown  head,  neck,  and  breast,  and  a  pure  white  face  as  in  the 
adult  female,  but  the  brown  feathers  are  being  rapidly  displaced 
by  feathers  of  a  dull  soot}^  black  colour.  By  this  period  their 
bills,  eyes,  and  feet  have  attained  the  colour  of  the  adult  bird, 
viz.,  blue,  straw-yellow,  and  dull  blue,  respectively ;  thus  it 
apjjears  that  the  soft  parts  attain  the  mature  colours  before  the 
feathers  do.  Now,  I  think  that  by  the  end  of  the  year  these 
birds  would  have  assumed  a  plain  black  head,  but  the  white  face 
would  be  retained.  By  this  period  the  young  females  are  in  the 
state  of  plumage  in  which  I  have  described  No.  2,  with  the  white 
face  in  an  embryonic  condition. 

By  October,  in  the  third  autumn  after  they  are  hatched, 
I  think  the  young  males  begin  to  assume  the  glossy  purple- 
green  head  of  the  adult  bird,  at  the  same  time  gradually  losing 
the  white  face ;  but  here  a  doubt  perhaps  exists  as  to  whether 
another  year  would  not  have  to  elapse  before  the  bird  attained 
the  purple-green  head,  as  Scaups  are  obtained  in  winter  with 
plain  black  heads  and  without  any  white  face.  By  their  third 
autumn  the  females  also  probably  become  adult,  resembling 
very  closely  the  state  of  plumage  in  which  the  male  is  when 
onlj^  sixteen  months  old. 

Briefly,  the  changes  in  young  males  may  be  as  follows:  — 
Fii'st  autumn,  dull  buff-brown  head  and  neck  ;  second  autumn, 
white  face  and  brown  head,  the  latter  turning  sooty  black ;  third 


autumn,  loses  white  face,  head  entirely  sooty  black;  4th  autumn, 
attains  the  glossy  (adult)  head. 

These  Scaups  had  been  feeding  upon  sea-grass,  which  was  to 
be  seen  in  their  gizzards,  chopped  up  into  pieces  about  half-an- 
inch  long ;  fragments  of  small  sea-shells,  periwinkles,  mussels, 
&c.,  were  also  among  the  contents  of  the  gizzard,  but  the  crop 
was  quite  empty.  I  believe  that  sea-diving  ducks  eat  much  more 
grass  than  is  generally  supposed. 

Though  the  Scaup  is  essentially  a  diving  duck,  yet  when 
pursued  with  a  broken  wing,  one  of  the  above  birds  showed  no 
tendency  to  dive,  and  allowed  itself  to  be  overtaken  in  a  way  at 
variance  with  their  wont.  They  are  fond  of  frequenting  sea-weed 
covered  rocks,  where  they  can  dive  for  their  food. 

If  you  see  Scaups  busy  diving,  they  are  nearly  sure  to  be 
above  some  submerged  tangle-covered  reef,  or  over  some  bed  of 
mussels  known  by  the  name  of  "  scap "  in  Northumberland. 
Such  a  place  is  their  regular  feeding-ground,  where  they  can  by 
diving  reach  the  young  mussels  adhering  to  the  sea-tangles. 

They  are  also  fond  of  young  cockles,  small  crabs,  and  the 
spawn  of  other  molluscs.  Scaup,  unlike  Mallards,  are  not 
"  flighters  ;"  they  have  no  regular  lines  of  flight  to  and  from  their 
feeding-grounds.  During  the  daytime  they  may  be  found  fre- 
quenting anj^  rocky  inlet  of  the  sea,  where  there  is  plenty  of 
black  seaweed,  or  about  the  mouth  of  some  burn  running  from 
the  slakes  proper  into  the  open  channels  of  the  tide-way.  I  am 
not  sure  that  Scaups  ever  leave  tidal  waters,  at  least  in  Northum- 
berland, during  the  winter  months,  though  with  advancing  spring 
they  do  resort  to  fresh-water  loughs  inland  previous  to  taking 
their  departure  northwards  to  breed.  With  the  exception  of  one 
solitary  instance  they  have  never  been  known  to  breed  in  the 
British  Islands.  In  Northern  Iceland  they  breed  in  immense 
numbers  in  the  month  of  July,  and  Messrs.  Slater  and  Carter  have 
recently  given,  both  in  '  The  Ibis'  (1886,  p.  45)  and  '  The  Zoolo- 
gist' (1886,  p.  149),  a  most  interesting  account  of  the  numbers 
that  frequent  that  district  during  the  breeding-season. 

Goldeneyes,  unlike  Scaups,  show  a  preference  to  freshwater 
loughs  and  rivers  during  their  stay  with  us,  and  they  are  not 
nearly  so  often  found  frequenting  tidal  waters.  They  are 
generally  in  winter  one  of  the  wildest  of  the  duck  tribe  to 
approach  witli  a  punt,  but  I  must  add  that  on  their  first  arrival 


here  (before  they  retreat  inland)  they  are  easy  birds  to  appi'oach. 
In  1886  I  observed  them  first  on  October  22nd  on  tidal  water. 
There  were  only  four,  and  when  first  seen  they  were  swimming 
in  company  with  four  Red-breasted  Mergansers,  Mergiis  serrator. 
When  we  were  yet  a  long  way  off,  the  Mergansers  began  to  leave 
them,  swimming  right  away  from  them.  Then  the  Mergansers 
waited  for  them  to  come  up.  Meantime  we  were  drawing  nearer. 
Again  the  eight  got  together,  and  again  the  more  cautious  "Saw- 
bills"  drew  away.  We  were  now  about  fifty  yards  from  the 
Goldeneyes,  but  the  Mergansers  were  more  than  double  this 
distance,  and  still  they  evidently  thought  they  were  too  near  by 
taking  wing  and  thus  saving  their  lives,  as  is  indeed  usually  their 
custom.  The  four  Goldeneyes  were  swimming  in  open  order, 
and  I  was  anxious  to  get  them  together;  for  this  purpose  they 
actualh'  allowed  us  to  chase  them  about,  only  swimming  away 
from  the  punt,  but  they  refused  to  go  close  together,  nor  did  they 
reluctantly  take  wing  till  driven  into  a  bight  of  the  sea,  a  real 
cul  de  sac,  whence  escape  was  possible  only  by  flight.  When  in 
company  with  the  Mergansers,  their  rates  of  swimming  were 
severely  contrasted,  the  Goldeneyes  being  invariablj^  left  "  clean 
out  of  the  race."  On  October  27th,  another  small  detachment 
of  five  Goldeneyes  arrived  on  the  coast ;  they  too  were  very  tame 
until  shot  at,  when  they  would  not  admit  of  further  approach.  On 
setting  to  them  a  second  time,  they  resumed  their  usual  wildness, 
and  rose  fully  300  yards  away  from  the  punt.  No  instance  is 
known  of  the  Goldeneye  staying  to  breed  in  the  British  Islands, 
tliough  they  are  regularly  seen  well  into  the  month  of  May  fre- 
quenting freshwater  loughs  and  rivers.  (But  see  More,  '  The  Ibis,' 
1865,  p.  447,  and  R.  Gray,  '  Birds  of  the  West  of  Scotland'  (1871), 
p.  395.)  I  once  found  the  nest  of  this  bird  in  Russian  Finland 
in  latitude  70°,  but  this  is  considerably  beyond  the  ordinary 
limits  of  their  northern  breeding  haunts. 

The  trees  at  this  latitude  are  very  small  and  stunted  in 
growth,  far  too  small,  one  would  think,  to  afford  a  nesting  hole 
for  so  bulky  a  duck  as  the  Goldeneye.  After  a  long  search, 
howevei",  the  nest  and  six  eggs  were  found  in  the  inside  of  an  old 
stump,  and  I  believe  this  is  the  most  northern  breeding  place  of 
the  Goldeneye  as  yet  recorded. 

I  have  never  seen  Goldeneyes  out  on  the  open  sea  by  day,  but 
I  have  seen  them  come  up  the  harbour  from  the  sea  shortly  after 


daybreak,  so  I  presume  they  spend  the  night,  when  on  the  coast, 
out  on  the  open  sea,  just  as  Brent  Geese  and  Mergansers  do. 

The  crop  of  a  young  male  Goldeneye,  shot  October  22nd, 
about  2  p.m.,  was  empty,  but  the  gizzard  was  packed  full  of  sharp 
gritty  sand,  with  rather  large  quartz  pebbles.  I  have  often  seen 
the  bill  of  a  Goldeneye,  after  coming  up  from  a  dive,  full  of 
bottom  refuse  ;  this  he  lays  on  the  water,  and  eats  at  leisure, 
after  the  manner  of  a  surface-feeding  duck. 

Mergansers  are,  I  think,  by  far  the  fastest  swimming  ducks 
we  have  ;  low  in  the  water,  with  neck  erect,  they  can  quite  outwit 
a  gunning  punt,  and  seldom  indeed  do  they  allow  approach 
within  fair  range.  When  undisturbed,  they  frequently  land  on 
the  sides  of  the  sandbanks,  and  when  ashore  tliey  stand  nearly 
erect.  I  remember  once,  when  at  Bodo,  in  Nordland,  getting 
quite  close  to  a  Merganser  sitting  nearly  bolt  upright  on  a  small 
rock  protruding  from  the  deep  water,  and  during  the  winter  time 
they  can  often  be  seen  thus  standing  along  the  sides  of  the  tidal 
channels.  When  alarmed,  they  waddle  quickly  down  to  the 
water,  or  fly  direct  from  the  ground.  Mergansers  never  stay 
inside  the  harbour  by  night:  about  dusk  they  all,  to  a  bird, 
leave  the  channel  where  they  have  been  busy  feeding  all  day,  and 
resort  to  the  open  sea  for  the  night.  One  bird,  shot  thus  going 
out  at  night,  was  crammed  full  of  tiny  plaice,  which  they  catch 
about  the  sandy-bottomed  channels  which  they  frequent.  When 
feeding  they  allow  themselves  to  drive  up  with  the  flood  perhaps 
a  quarter  or  lialf  a  mile,  when  they  all  rise,  and,  flying  back  to 
their  original  starting-place,  recommence  their  raids  on  the  finny 
ones.  With  the  first  of  the  light  in  the  morning  they  return  from 
the  sea  to  the  harbour  channels  to  feed. 

About  thirty  of  these  birds  arrived  on  our  coast  on 
October  20th,  and  I  saw  them  all  file  out  to  sea  about  four 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  Their  flight,  like  their  natatory  powers, 
is  very  rapid,  and  they  usually  move  in  a  long  thin  line  when  on 
the  wing  in  company.  A  winged  Merganser  is  generally  a  lost 
one.     The  local  name  for  it  is  "  Yawol." 

The  Goosander,  Mergus  merganser,  a  far  heavier  and  more 
bulky  bird,  is  seldom  found  on  the  coast,  unless  driven  by  hard 
weather  from  his  inland  haunts,  but  the  Merganser  is  essentially 
marine  in  its  winter  habits,  and  I  think  never  during  the  winter 
season  resorts  to    fresh- water  lakes  or   streams  inland,  though 


with  approaching  spring  they  at  once  betake  themselves  to  fresh 
as  well  as  salt-water  loughs  to  breed.  They  have  never  been 
known  to  breed  in  England,  though  in  Scotland,  and  all  along 
the  Scandinavian  Peninsula,  they  nest  freely.  Their  food,  of 
course,  consists  offish,  for  securing  and  holding  which  their  saw- 
bills  are  most  admirably  adapted. 

Off  the  Northumberland  coast,  the  sea  ducks  proper  are  the 
Common  and  Velvet  Scoters  (though  the  latter  is  rather  scarce), 
the  Long-tailed  Duck,  the  Eider,  and  the  Shellduck. 

Sea  ducks  obtain  at  least  a  great  part  of  their  food  by  diving, 
and  in  general  this  consists  of  the  soft  bodies  of  molluscs.  That 
they  will  avail  themselves,  however,  of  other  food  when  occasion 
offers  is  certain,  and  the  following  was  narrated  to  me  by  a  fisher- 
man in  whose  observation  I  can  place  implicit  faith: — About 
thirty-five  years  ago,  a  sailing  vessel,  "  The  Falcon,"  loaded  with 
grain,  was  wrecked  off  Holy  Island  in  September.  At  first 
about  a  dozen  Scoters  frequented  the  scene,  feeding  on  the 
grain,  but  afterwards  many  hundreds  of  these  birds,  as  well  as 
Long-tailed  Ducks,  were  daily  to  be  seen  greedily  devouring  the 
floating  grain  as  it  was  washed  out  of  the  ship. 

The  same  man  also  told  me  how  one  night  in  the  first  or 
second  week  of  September,  twenty-five  years  ago,— a  dark  night  it 
was,  with  drizzling  rain, — a  bird  deliberately  flung  itself  upon  the 
burning  coals  of  the  stove  in  the  coble  where  they  were  warming 
their  coffee,  and  that  he  quickly  picked  it  out  of  the  fire  to 
prevent  it  being  burnt.  The  bird  was  a  Storm  Petrel  {Procellaria 
lulagica),  and  he  kept  it  alive  for  several  days,  till  it  ended 
its  misfortunes  by  being  eaten  by  his  cat. 

This  man  also  told  me  how  two  birds  hovered  round  the 
fishin«-boat  one  day,  which,  from  his  description,  can  have  been 
no  other  than  Fulmar  Petrels.  Both  of  these  Petrels  occur 
irregularly  on  the  Northumberland  coast. 

Though  not  a  regular  gunner,  it  will  be  seen  that  my 
informant  is  an  observant  man.  When  crossing  along  the 
edge  of  the  ooze,  he  one  day  pointed  to  a  bank  a  few  yards 
above  high-water  mark,  at  the  same  time  remarking  that  "  it  was 
on  that  very  bank  where  he  once  saw,  during  the  month  of 
March,  several  hundred  '  Ware  Geese '  sitting,  and  that  this  was 
the  only  instance  during  his  lifetime  that  he  had  known  these 
geese  to  alight  above  the  "  full  sea-mark."     Generally  speaking. 


Brent  Geese  never  alight  above  high-water  mark  during  the 
period  they  are  on  our  shores  during  winter. 

The  Eider,  or,  as  he  is  locally  termed  "  Culver  "  duck,  is 
perhaps  the  most  characteristic  sea  duck  we  have  in  Northum- 
berland. He  is  with  us  all  the  year  round,  breeding  freely  on 
the  Fame  Islands,  and  sparselj'  on  the  mainland.  On  October 
27th,  this  year,  I  observed  a  most  extraordinary  feat  performed 
by  Eiders.  Four  of  them,  all  dark-coloured  young  birds  of  the 
year,  were  feeding  along  the  edges  of  a  basaltic  reef  thickly  over- 
grown with  sea-tangles,  and  here  they  were  working  havoc  among 
the  dog-crabs  and  other  small  shell-fish.  We  ran  down  on  them, 
thinking  they  might  be  Scaups.  When  within  gunshot  they  rose, 
and,  being  in  a  narrow  bight  of  the  sea,  they  had  to  head  round, 
so  as  to  pass  us  broadside  on  within  twenty  yards.  I  fired  at  the 
leading  bird,  and,  to  my  surprise,  all  four  went  headlong  into  the 
sea  from  a  height  of  perhaps  twenty  feet.  At  first,  I  wondered, 
could  I  have  killed  them  all  with  the  one  shot  ?  Presently  one 
bird  came  up  dead,  but  the  other  three  had  dived  from  the  wing 
on  the  instant  they  perceived  the  real  danger,  nor  did  they  come 
up  again  till  well  out  of  shot,  when  they  immediately  took  wiug 
and  escaped ! 

The  Sheldrake  {Tadorna  vulpanser)  is  resident  in  Northum- 
berland, breeding  on  the  sandlinks  along  the  coast.  They 
frequent  the  slakes,  sandbanks,  and  mud-flats,  as  well  as 
the  open  sea.  During  August  the  old  duck  brings  her  brood 
into  the  harbour,  and  if  pursued  they  dive  freely,  but  as  soon  as 
the  young  are  full-grown  they  always  take  wing  when  pursued,  in 
preference  to  diving.  Yarrell  states  that  the  legs  of  the  young 
bird  in  August  are  "flesh-colour":  all  I  have  seen  at  that 
season  of  the  year  have  been  lead-coloured. 

In  1886,  up  to  October  27th,  I  had  seen  no  Long-tailed 
Ducks  [Harelda  glacialis),  though  by  this  date  they  may  be 
expected  to  appear.  They  are  essentiall}'  sea-ducks,  and, 
I  think,  never  come  inside  the  harbour  either  by  night  or  by 
day.  In  very  rough  weather  Common  Scoters  {(Edemia  nigra) 
will  sometimes  venture  inside,  but  this  is  unusual,  and  their 
regular  haunts  are  the  open  sea,  just  to  seaward  of  the  foreshore 

I  have  never  seen  either  the  Pintail  {Dafila  acuta)  or  the 
Tufted  duck  {Fuligula  cristata),  on  the  coast,  but  the  Shoveller 


(Spatula  clypeata)  occurs  regularly  during  summer,  and  breeds  on 
an  inland  pond  in  company  with  Mallards,  Teal,  Coots,  Water- 
hens  and  Dabchicks.  I  think  Shovellers,  at  least  in  Northum- 
berland, seldom  come  into  the  slakes  ;  on  no  occasion  have  I 
ever  seen  them  there  ;  probably  they  migrate  direct  from  their 
breeding-places  southwards.  The  only  one  I  ever  shot  was  on 
August  12th,  1877. 

Of  all  the  wildfowl  visiting  the  coast  of  Northumberland, 
"  Grey  Geese "  are,  to  the  punt-gunner,  the  most  difficult  to 
negotiate.  Feeding  as  they  do  during  the  daytime  on  grain- 
stubbles,  they  are  then  beyond  the  fowler's  reach,  unless,  indeed, 
he  has  the  right  to  follow  them. 

It  was  on  the  16th  September  last  that  I  shot  the  Lesser 
White-fronted  Goose  {Anser  albifrons  viimitus ;  Anser  erythropus, 
Linn),  as  elsewhere  recorded  ('  The  Field,'  December  11th,  188G, 
p.  872)  ;  but  the  migratory  hosts  of  the  ordinary  Grey  Geese  did 
not  arrive  until  October  12th,  nearly  a  month  later,  which  is 
about  their  usual  date.  A  special  feature  in  connection  with 
these  Grey  Geese  was  the  extraordinary  numbers  in  which  they 
invaded  our  shores  last  autumn.  Never  previously,  so  far  as 
I  know,  have  such  numbers  been  seen  here.  On  the  evening 
of  October  14th  I  went  to  a  place  where  I  thought  a  shot 
might  be  had  at  them.  About  5.15  p.m.  I  was  greatly  sur- 
prised to  see  a  large  flock  rise  off  the  open  sand  wastes 
where  they  generally  spend  the  night,  and,  with  a  great  "  gag- 
gling," wing  their  way  inland.  After  mancBuvring  some  ten 
minutes,  during  which  time  they  did  not  maintain  their  regular 
V-shaped  formation,  but  flew  in  loose  order,  they  all  went  down 
into  a  barley-stubble,  when  they  made  a  great  noise;  then  all 
was  silent.  The  moon  was  rising  at  the  time,  and  a  herdsman 
who  happened  to  be  passing  that  way  put  them  up  again  off"  the 
stubble.  It  was  then  too  dark  to  see  them,  but  I  heard  tliem 
flying  and  gaggling  about  the  fields  for  an  hour  afterwards,  when 
I  left  them  quietly  feeding  by  night.  At  first  this  conduct 
seemed  most  strange,  but  reflection  soon  showed  that  it  was  only 
as  it  should  be.  At  this  time  of  the  year,  when,  owing  to  the 
inhospitable  nature  of  our  climate,  the  farmer  has  been  unable 
to  get  his  cereals  gathered  and  led  fi'om  the  fields,  it  is  obviously 
impossible  for  the  Grey  Geese  to  get  their  diurnal  feed,  owing 
to  the  number  of  labourers  working  in  the  fields   where    they 


want  to  feed,  and  consequently  they  have  to  wait  till  the  fields 
are  left  quiet  and  undisturbed. 

On  October  14th  it  was  5  p.m.  when  the  harvesters  left  the 
fields,  and  it  was  5.15  (as  above  stated)  when  the  geese,  which 
had  been  sitting  about  a  mile  off  on  an  open  stretch  of  sand,  rose 
to  go  into  the  fields.  The  geese  at  this  season  alight  among  the 
stocks,  where  they  can  feed  at  leisure,  without  having  the  trouble 
of  walking  about  to  look  for  the  grain.  That  they  will  return, 
however,  to  their  more  regular  habit  of  feeding  by  day  on  the  very 
first  opportunity  was  fully  demonstrated  to  me,  for  on  October 
16th,  when  it  was  so  stormy  that  the  farm  labourers  could  not 
work  in  the  fields,  I  saw  fully  two  hundred  geese  busily  engaged 
in  feeding  on  the  stubbles,  about  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and 
this  in  the  very  field  where  but  two  days  ago  they  were  feeding 
at  night.  Again  on  October  21st  I  saw  about  five  hundred  geese 
sitting  on  the  sands.  They  were  very  restless,  and  would  not 
allow  the  punt  to  approach  them.  Every  now  and  tlien  they 
would  rise  in  a  body  and  betake  themselves  inland.  Here, 
however,  they  found  the  fields  frequented  by  workpeople,  and 
after  gyrating  in  the  open  air  at  a  great  height  for  a  few  minutes, 
they  would  return  to  the  sands  from  whence  they  had  risen. 

During  the  three  days  succeeding  this  date  they  were  regu- 
larly to  be  found  sitting  on  the  open  sands  during  the  day,  wait- 
ing for  the  fields  to  be  cleared,  when  they  might  feed  unmolested 
by  night.  By  October  25th  the  stooks  had  been  got  in,  and  the 
stubbles  were  left  unfrequented  by  man.  The  geese  at  once 
assumed  their  normal  habits,  feeding  all  day,  and  half  an  hour 
before  dark  any  night  their  extraordinary^  V'^l^aped  formation 
might  be  seen  heading  direct  for  their  favourite  resting-places. 
Their  formation  when  on  the  wing  is  more  mechanically  true 
than  is  the  case  with  Brent  Geese,  and  the  incessant  gaggling 
which  they  make  on  going  to  and  from  their  feeding  grounds  is 
audible  at  an  immense  distance.  Many  a  flight-shooter  has 
endeavoured  to  waylay  these  wary  birds  as  they  come  to  the 
sands  at  night,  but  with  very  indift'erent  success.  I  believe  nine 
nights  out  of  ten  they  do  not  even  get  a  shot. 

On  October  23rd  I  all  but  succeeded  in  getting  a  good  shot 
at  them.  The  position  was  peculiar.  An  isthmus  of  sand  liSO 
yards  wide  separates  the  north  sea  from  the  harbour  waters.  At 
a  point  in  this  isthmus  is  an  opening  or  channel,  some  50  yards 


wide,  deep  and  dangerous  for  a  punt.  This  channel  is  the  sluice- 
way for  part  of  the  harbour  water  direct  into  the  breakers  of  the 
North  Sea,  and  down  it  or  up  it,  according  as  the  tide  is  ebbing 
or  flowing,  the  water  runs  like  a  millrace.  Between  500  and  600 
Grey  Geese  were  sitting  along  the  seaside  of  the  isthmus  on  either 
side  of  the  outlet  channel.  The  punt  was  lying  at  the  opposite 
end  of  the  channel,  i.  e.,  on  the  harbour  side,  and  exactly  180 
yards  from  the  geese.  The  only  means  of  a  nearer  approach  was 
down  the  channel  with  the  ebb,  or,  as  my  puntsman  quietly 
remarked,  "  To  perdition  in  ten  feet  of  water  among  the  breakers." 
There  sat  the  geese,  all  unconscious  of  our  presence.  Every- 
thing about  them  was  as  clear  as  daylight  through  the  binoculars, 
with  this  exception — I  could  not  identify  the  colour  of  the 
nail  on  the  beak ;  and  so,  alas  !  they  remain  unidentified  to 
this  day. 

Before  putting  the  birds  up,  we  gave  them  gentle  cause  for 
alarm,  and  it  was  maddening  to  see  how  they  separated  into 
companies,  each  company  so  concentrating  itself  in  its  fear,  that 
if  only  I  could  have  come  within  range,  a  heavy  shot  must  have 
been  the  result.  On  walking  over  the  place  where  they  had  been 
sitting,  it  was  evident  that  many  were  moulting  their  quills,  as 
these  feathers  lay  about  all  over. 

During  October  and  November  these  geese  remain  with  us, 
and  indeed  as  long  as  good  stubble  food  is  to  be  found.  As  soon, 
however,  as  the  plough  begins  its  work,  and  their  feeding-grounds 
are  destroyed,  they  rapidly  increase  in  numbers,  and  before 
Christmas  there  are  very  few  left,  perhaps  a  dozen  or  two. 
About  February  and  March  they  reappear  in  all  their  strength, 
making  daily  raids  on  the  hard  corn  till  their  appointed  time  of 
departure  in  April  to  breed. 

Grey  Geese  very  seldom  alight  on  the  ooze.  On  the  one 
occasion  when  I  am  told  they  did  so,  they  paid  a  heavy  penalty 
for  their  rashness. 

Judging  from  Grey  Geese  shot  by  old  gunners,  and  from 
what  has  been  written  on  the  subject,  it  would  seem  that  most  of 
the  birds  visiting  us  in  autumn  belong  to  the  Pink-footed  and 
Bean  species.  When,  however,  it  is  remembered  that  they  dis- 
appear in  winter  almost  entirely,  I  can  see  no  valid  objection  to 
their  being  real  Grey-lags,  Ansei'  ferus.  The  latter  breed 
numerously  on  the  Scandinavian  seaboard  (as  well  as  sparsely  in 


Sutherlancishire  and  in  the  Hebrides).  They  do  not  remain 
during  the  winter  in  Norway,  and  why  should  the  birds  we  have 
here  during  October  and  November  not  be  the  Norsk-bred  Grey- 
lags resting  in  their  passage  southwards  ?  From  what  I  have 
seen  of  them  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  this  is  the  case. 

They  look  enormous  birds  as  they  stand  on  the  flat  sands, 
and  this  is  not  in  accordance  with  their  being  A.  hracliyrhyncus, 
the  latter  being  much  smaller  birds.  That  they  are  not  the 
White-fronted  species,  A.  albifrons,  I  am  sure,  or  I  should 
certainly  have  identified  them  with  the  glass.  Possibly  they  may 
be  Bean  Geese,  A.  segetiim. 

Though  Brent  Geese  invariably  frequent  certain  parts  of  the 
Northumberland  coast  during  the  winter  months,  the  Bernicle, 
Bernicla  leucojjsis,  very  seldom  does  so.  This  year,  on  Septem- 
ber 23rd,  six  Bernicles  appeared  in  the  slakes  at  Holy  Island, 
probably  on  passage  to  their  more  regular  haunts  on  the  Solway. 
The  islanders  assert  positively  that  none  had  been  seen  for 
fully  thirty  years  previously.  One  of  the  six  was  wounded  by  a 
local  gunner,  but  never  bagged. 

I  have  already  remarked  that  in  1886  Wigeon  arrived  on 
September  11th;  it  was  September  16th  when  the  Lesser  White- 
fronted  G;oose  appeared.  Both  of  these  dates  are  unusually 
early  for  these  birds,  yet  on  September  17th  I  was  even  more 
sui'prised  to  witness  the  arrival  of  the  Brent  Goose  in  the  slakes. 
This  was  a  single  bird,  and  not  until  October  18th  did  another 
occur,  when  four  made  their  appearance,  staying  for  a  day  or 
two,  and  again  entirely  disappearing.  Small  detachments  keep 
arriving  during  November  and  December,  by  the  end  of  which 
month  perhaps  a  hundred  or  two  may  have  assembled.  During 
January  and  February  this  number  is  increased  to  perhaps  a 
thousand  or  two,  and  this  is  the  winter  stock  in  mild  weather. 
When,  however,  by  stress  of  weather  in  the  Baltic  and  other 
northern  waters,  the  geese  are  compelled  to  retreat  before  the 
cold  to  more  congenial  shores,  then  the  regular  stock  is  increased, 
aye,  tenfold  !     This  is  the  time  for  the  wildfowler  afloat ! 

The  Brent  obtained  by  me  on  September  17th  was  an  old 
bird  in  poor  condition.  The  features  in  the  plumage  were  pale 
yellow  feathers  at  intervals  among  the  ordinary  slate-blue  feathers 
of  the  back,  giving  the  bird  a  splashed  appearance,  and,  on 
examination,  small  brown  feathers  were  visible  among  the  sooty 

ZOOLOGIST. JAN.   1887.  0 


black  feathers  of  the  neck ;  otherwise  he  was  in  the  ordinary 
winter  dress  of  the  old  bird.  We  saw  him  arrive  flying  direct 
westwards,  but  once  inside  the  harbour  he  alit  on  a  sandbank. 
Here  he  amused  himself  by  making  short  quick  runs  on  tip-toe, 
flapping  his  wings  the  while,  till  he  received  his  coup  de  grace. 

Brent  Geese  are  day-feeders.  Only  when  harassed  by 
shooters  do  they  venture  on  the  Zostera  banks  by  night,  and 
this  only  when  they  are  favoured  by  moonlight.  With  the  first 
of  the  dawn,  they  rise  from  their  resting-places  on  the  open  sea, 
preparatory  to  winging  their  way  to  their  favourite  feeding 
grounds.  The  sea-grass  on  which  they  feed  attains  a  great 
length,  some  stalks  measuring  five  feet  in  length.  It  is  the 
decomposition  of  each  year's  growth  that  causes  the  immense 
deposit  of  soft  mud  known  as  the  "  slake,"  incapable  in  many 
places  of  bearing  much  more  than  the  weight  of  the  birds  which 
feed  on  and  about  it.  About  sunrise,  a  little  sooner  or  later, 
according  to  the  tide,  the  Brents  repair  to  this  slimy  ooze  to 
feed.  During  the  daytime,  especially  in  fine  weather,  they  may 
be  frequently  seen  chasing  each  other,  and  playing  the  hours 
away  till  an  hour  or  so  before  dark,  when  they  are  again  hungry 
and  wishful  to  get  a  good  crop-full  before  taking  flight  seawards 
for  the  night.  At  this  time,  especially  if  it  be  a  flood  tide  and 
hard  weather,  the  punt  gunner  expects  to  get  a  heavy  shot. 
Indeed,  sometimes  so  intent  are  they  about  their  own  suppers 
that  they  will  allow  a  punt  to  be  shoved  right  up  among  them. 
Just  as  the  sun  disappears  behind  Old  Cheviot's  Firehills,  the 
geese  cease  to  feed,  and  go  direct  out  to  sea.  With  the  excep- 
tion of  crossing  a  narrow  strip  of  sandlinks  both  at  their  morning 
and  evening  flight,  they  never  cross  dry  land,  and  their  flights 
are  usually  made  at  a  height  beyond  the  reach  of  a  shoulder  gun  ; 
but  under  the  conditions  of  a  head  wind,  which  makes  them  fly 
low,  usually  some  gaps  are  made  in  their  otherwise  beautifully 
symmetrical  formations. 

A  winged  Brent  is  pretty  sure  to  make  for  the  water  if  it 
happens  to  fall  on  dry  land.  Here  they  make  feeble  attempts  at 
diving,  but  on  the  whole  cripples  are  usually  easy  enough  to 

Daring  October,  and  especially  from  the  20th  to  the  25th  of 
the  month.  Redwings  and  Fieldfares  were  nearly  always  to  be 
heard  passing  over  westwards  while  we  were  busy  launching  the 


punt  in  the  early  hours  before  daybreak.  Snow  Buntings  and 
Sky  Larks  were  also  to  be  heard,  and  on  October  15th,  during  a 
severe  gale  from  the  south-east,  I  frequently  put  up  Redwings 
from  amongst  the  black  rocks,  evidently  birds  newly  arrived. 

Tins  feature  of  migration  is,  liowever,  so  regular  and  so 
certain  in  its  annual  recurrence,  that  it  is  doubtful  if  further 
observation  will  much  increase  our  knowledge  of  the  subject. 
Some  birds,  however,  are  very  irregular  in  their  immigrations. 
On  October  iSth  and  20th  ult.,  two  specimens  of  the  Great 
Spotted  Woodpecker  occurred  at  a  point  on  the  Northumberland 
coast,  which  only  confirms  the  observations  of  others  that  these 
birds  are  immigrants  to  our  shores.  There  was  hardl}^  a  tree  in 
the  neighbourhood  where  they  were,  and  one  bird  which  flew 
off  the  ground  alighted  on  a  gate-post  for  want  of  a  better 
perching  place.  In  '  The  Field '  for  October  30th  ult.,  an 
instance  is  cited  of  the  occurrence  of  this  bird  in  Co.  Down, 
Ireland,  and,  though  the  exact  date  is  not  given,  it  seems  to 
coincide  with  my  own  observations.  Probably  there  was  a 
"rush"  of  them  about  October  20th,  at  which  time  the  weather 
here  was  thick  and  foggy,  though  for  several  days  previously  a 
severe  storm  had  raged  from  the  east  and  south-east. 

On  October  15th  thirty  Swans  were  reported  as  having 
been  seen  by  some  fishermen  when  following  their  calling  about 
seven  miles  out  at  sea,  though  nothing  more  was  seen  or  heard 
of  them.  They  were  said  to  be  flying  westward  at  the  time. 
These  birds  occur  nearly  every  winter  in  Northumberland,  and 
when  they  are  seen  to  alight  they  are  usually  obtained.  My 
brother  (H.)  shot  a  fine  young  Wiiooper,  one  of  a  pair,  in  January, 
1881.     Weight  17|-  lbs. 

During  the  month  of  October  enormous  numbers  of  Peewits 
come  to  rest  on  the  oozes  during  the  day.  Golden  Plovers  are 
also  present,  but  in  smaller  numbers.  Two  shots  fired  at  them 
produced  twenty-nine  Peewits,  two  Goldens,  and  four  Redshanks. 
I  say  "rest"  advisedl}',  for  I  have  watched  them  for  hours,  with 
perhaps  a  score  of  birds  within  ten  yards  of  the  punt,  everj^  bird 
sitting  abreast  to  windward  and  head  tucked  away  in  the  back 
feathers,  sound  asleep.  So  peaceful  do  they  appear  that  they 
allow  the  approaching  flood  to  creep  gently  round  them.  Half- 
inch  by  half-inch  it  gradually  rises,  till  the  Plovers  actually  seem 
to  be  swimming  in  the  water.      When  breast-deep  they  wake  up, 


and,  with  a  little  scream  of  "  ennui,"  fly  perhaps  fifty  yards 
landwards,  when  they  again  go  to  sleep.  I  know  of  no  prettier 
sight  than  to  see  a  large  flock  of  Peewits  thus  whiling  away  the 
daytime.  About  dusk  they  resort  to  the  turnip  and  other  fields 
inland,  where  they  feed  all  night. 

During  the  month  of  September  the  slakes  swarmed  with 
Oystercatchers,  and  I  hardly  saw  any  Peewits.  In  October 
exactly  the  reverse  was  the  case,  and  I  was  at  a  loss  to  know 
where  all  the  "  sea  plots  "  had  got  to.  I  imagine  the  great  flocks 
of  Peewits  were  mostly  immigrants,  though  outwardly  no  proof  of 
this  was  apparent.  Most  of  those  shot  were  young  of  the  year. 
During  November,  however,  there  were  great  numbers  of  both 
Peewits  and  Oystercatchers. 

A  prominent  feature  in  the  slakes  during  October  is  the 
absence  of  the  Lesser  Black-backed  Gull ;  in  September  they 
were  numerous,  but  now  their  place  is  taken  by  their  big  brother, 
L.  viarinus.  Often,  when  setting  to  fowl,  this  large  Gull  comes 
sailing  straight  at  you,  and  with  his  loud  "  hau-hau-hau "  he 
raises  the  slakes.  In  an  instant,  some  Curlew,  who  had  been 
brooding  what  that  strange  white  line  on  the  water  might  be,  takes 
the  warning,  and,  by  his  fearful  vociferations,  he  usually  succeeds 
in  spoiling  the  punter's  chance  of  a  shot. 

The  ColumbidcB  are  all  represented  on  the  Northumberland 
coast  during  winter.  Though  two  of  the  three  species  breed  in 
Scotland  and  in  the  Hebrides,  they  do  not  arrive  here  any  sooner 
than  the  foreign-bred  Wigeon,  and  often  considerably  later.  Up 
to  the  end  of  October  I  noticed  very  few,  but  after  that  date  their 
numbers  increased  till  about  the  end  of  the  year. 

Mr.  Cullingford  tells  me  that  he  had  a  Ked-throated  Diver 
from  Lewis  (Oct.  29th,  1886)  with  a  perfectly  red  throat.  He 
also  had  a  Black-throated  Diver  from  Lincolnshire  (Dec.  24th, 
1885)  with  the  new  black  throat  already  perfectly  developed, 
and  the  general  plumage,  checkered  back,  &c.,  was  equally 
advanced.  It  frequently  happens  that  birds  shot  in  March 
and  April  do  not  show  nearly  so  much  summer  dress  as  in 
the  above  examples.  The  Ked-throat  is  always  much  the 
commonest  of  the  three  Divers  on  our  coast,  the  Black-throat 
being  the  rarest.  At  daybreak  there  is  a  regular  flight  of 
Divers  from  the  sea,  where  they  spend  the  night,  into  the 
tidal  channels  of  the  harbour.     Divers,  unlike  Mergansers,  do 


not  feed  in  company,  and,   tliougli  two  or  three   may  be    seen 
together,  they  are  usually  solitary. 

Grebes  resemble  divers  in  their  habits  when  on  the  coast. 
The  Sclavonian  (P.  cornutus)  is  the  commonest  Grebe  we  have 
during  winter,  but  the  Eared,  P.  awitus,  and  Great  Crested 
Grebe,  P.  cristatus,  occur,  the  latter  being  the  commoner  of 
the  two.  I  noticed  one  of  the  latter  birds  on  October  22nd. 
The  Eed-necked  Grebe,  P.  rubricollis,  occurs,  but  I  have  never 
shot  it. 


By  Henry  Seebohm. 

In  *  The  Zoologist '  for  August  last  my  friend  and  travelling 
companion,  Mr.  Harvie  Brown,  placed  beyond  doubt  the 
long-suspected  fact  that  the  Snow  Bunting,  Emberiza  nivalis, 
breeds  in  Scotland.  No  one  knows  better  than  he  does  the 
significance  of  this  statement.  It  is  not  known  that  any 
bird  breeds  farther  north  than  this  species.  Major  Feilden 
found  a  nest  in  Grinnell  Land  above  lat.  82|-°.  When  I  was  in 
Lapland  with  Mr.  Collett  we  saw  nothing  of  it  until  we  reached 
lat.  70°.  It  passes  through  Archangel  every  spring  and  autumn, 
but  retires  farther  north  to  the  extremity  of  the  Karim  Peninsula 
to  breed.  In  the  valleys  of  the  Petchora  and  the  Yenesay 
thousands  crossed  the  arctic  circle  in  spring,  but  we  saw  them 
no  more  until  in  the  former  locality  we  reached  lat.  68°,  and  in 
the  latter  lat.  Tlj".  The  Snow  Bunting  is  during  the  breeding 
season  an  exclusively  arctic  bird. 

The  Ptarmigan,  Tetrao  mutus,  is  quite  as  arctic  a  bird, 
though  perhaps  not  so  exclusively  so.  No  arctic  traveller  has 
ever  reached  a  latitude  too  high  for  this  species  to  be  found,  and 
wherever  it  occurs  south  of  the  arctic  circle  it  frequents  the 
mountain  tops  where  an  arctic  climate  is  to  be  found.  In 
Scotland  it  comes  down  to  2000  feet,  but  in  South  Siberia  and 
Japan  only  to  6000  or  even  9000  feet.  The  only  locality  where 
it  is  found  at  a  low  level  south  of  the  arctic  circle  is  on  the 
Kurile  Islands,  a  fact  the  significance  of  which  will  shortly 

The  Eed-necked  Phalarope,  Phalaropus  hyperhoreus,  is 
another  arctic  species  which  breeds  in  Scotland.      In  Europe 


and  Asia  it  seldom  breeds  below  the  arctic  circle,  except  at  high 
elevations :  Archangel  seems  to  be  too  far  south  to  suit  its 
requirements ;  but  curiously  enough,  on  the  shores  of  the  Sea  of 
Ochotsk,  Middendorfi"  found  it  breeding  as  far  south  as  lat.  55°. 

The  Whimbrel,  Numenius  fhceopus,  is  also  an  exclusively 
arctic  species  during  the  breeding  season,  Iceland  and  the 
islands  between  it  and  Scotland  (where  it  also  breeds  in  the 
most  northerly  counties),  and  probably  Kamtschatka,  being  the 
only  localities  south  of  the  arctic  circle  which  it  frequents  in 

The  Greenshank,  Totanus  glottis,  is  another  arctic  species, 
though  it  does  not  breed  so  far  north  as  the  other  birds  above 
named.  In  Scotland  it  breeds  much  farther  south  than  on  any 
part  of  the  Continent,  a  statement  which  probably  applies  to 
many  other  species. 

If  time  and  space  permitted  it  would  be  interesting  to 
compare  the  breeding  range  in  the  British  Islands  of  many 
other  arctic  or  subarctic  birds  with  their  breeding  range  on 
the  Continent.  The  Great  Skua,  Stercorarius  catarrhactes, 
Eichardson's  Skua,  S.  richardsoni,  the  Black-throated  Diver, 
Colymhus  arcticus,  the  Fulmar  Petrel,  Fulmarus  glacialis,  and 
several  species  of  Ducks,  all  come  under  the  category  of 
arctic  birds  which  breed  at  exceptionally  low  latitudes  in 

Now  it  is  a  remarkable  fact  that  not  one  of  these  birds 
breeds  either  in  England  or  Ireland ;  and  the  only  conclusion 
that  we  can  arrive  at  is  that,  from  an  ornithological  point  of 
view,  Scotland  belongs  to  the  Arctic  Eegions !  But  like  most 
other  remarkable  facts  it  admits  of  an  easy  explanation. 

This  explanation  is  climatic.  Most,  if  not  all,  of  the  species 
named  breed  in  July.  A  reference  to  a  map  on  which  the 
isothermal  lines  for  July  are  traced  will  be  found  to  explain  all 
these  apparent  anomalies  in  a  most  remarkable  manner.  In 
Keith  Johnston's  'Physical  Atlas'  there  is  a  map  of  the  world 
in  which  the  mean  temperature  for  the  month  of  July  is  given 
in  various  parts  of  the  earth. 

Pioughly  speaking,  the  birds  under  consideration  draw  the 
line  a  few  degrees  below  60°  Fahrenheit.  For  some  special 
reason  they  do  not  breed  in  any  locality  where  the  mean  tem- 
perature for  the  month  of  July  is  as  high  as  60°,  their  reason 


probably  having  relation  to  the  supply  of  food.  In  the  map 
alluded  to  the  isothermal  line  of  59°  is  drawn.  It  separates 
England  and  Ireland  from  Scotland,  passes  north  of  the  Gulf 
of  Bothnia,  through  the  town  of  Archangel,  extends  nearly 
straight  across  Eussia  and  Western  Siberia,  but  east  of  the 
valley  of  the  Yenesay  again  rises  until  it  almost  reaches  the 
coast  near  the  delta  of  the  Lena.  Farther  east  in  Siberia  it 
plunges  south  again,  much  more  rapidly  than  it  rose  in  Western 
Europe,  and  passing  south  of  Kamtschatka  it  embraces  the 
Kurile  Islands  in  the  latitude  of  the  Pyrenees. 

This  line  is  almost  exactly  parallel  with  what  we  know  of 
the  southern  breeding  ranges  of  the  various  arctic  birds  which 
have  been  alluded  to,  thus  conclusively  proving  that  Scotland 
not  only  seems  to  be,  but  actually  is,  within  the  Arctic  Kegions 
during  the  month  of  July.  .  There  is  therefore  no  reason  for 
attempting  to  explain  by  any  other  causes  than  the  ascertained 
climatic  cause  the  interesting  fact  that  British  ornithologists  are 
able  to  study  the  breeding  habits  of  so  many  birds  which  their 
continental  fellow  students  can  only  observe  by  travelling  five 
hundred  miles  or  more  farther  north. 


The  Essex  Field  Club. — It  is  announced  that  the  '  Transactions '  and 
'Proceedings'  of  the  Essex  Field  Club  are  henceforth  to  appear  in  the 
form  of  a  monthly  periodical  entitled  'The  Essex  NaturaHst.'  This  new 
departure  in  tlie  policy  of  local  Societies  has  been  adopted  from  a  conviction 
that  if  local  Societies  are  to  flourish  and  do  useful  work  it  is  necessary  to 
devise  some  means  of  "  lieeping  touch  "  with  their  members,  and  encouraging 
inter-communication  among  them.  We  understand  that  the  first  number 
of  the  '  Essex  Naturalist '  will  appear  in  January,  and  will  be  conducted 
by  Mr.  W.  Cole,  who  has  edited  the  publications  of  the  Club  since  its 
establishment  seven  years  ago. 


The  Fur  Trade  of  London. — London  is  the  great  market  for  furs  and 
skins  of  the  world,  and  not  St.  Petersburg  or  Nijui-Novgorod,  or  any  of  the 
great  cities  of  Northern  or  Western  Europe,  or  Canada,  as  many  imagine. 
To  our  metropolis  come  the  fur  merchants  of  every  part  of  Europe,  Asia,  and 


America,  to  purchase  the  finest  and  rarest  skins.  March  and  September 
are  now  the  principal  periods  of  their  biennial  visitation,  and  during 
these  months  the  greatest  activity  is  displayed  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  St.  Mary  Axe,  where  from  time  immemorial  the  Guild  of  Skinners  have 
transacted  their  business.  The  following  statistics  will  give  some  idea  of 
the  importance  of  this  industry  : — In  March,  1886,  the  Hudson's  Bay 
Company  submitted  to  public  auction  no  less  than  10,841  Otter-skins ; 
4,02'2  Fisher-skins;  855'  Silver  Fox-skins,  of  a  value  of  from  £10  to  £80 
each  ;  3,173  Cross  Fox-skins,  ranging  up  to  £8  in  value  ;  1,400  Fox-skins, 
various;  5, '200  Lynx-skins  ;  78,856  Marten, or  Sable-skins  ;  76,374  Beaver- 
skins  ;  and  vast  quantities  of  inferior  quality  skins.  Also,  in  the  same 
month,  at  an  important  sale  ("  Lampson's  "),  1 ,020  Silver  Fox ;  7,449  Sables 
(Russian);  400  Blue  Fox;  3,741  Cross  Fox;  4,252  Sea  Otter,  from  £8  to 
£140  value  per  skin;  7,000  Bear;  3,000  Fishers;  6,559  Otter;  5,000 
Fox;  41,387  Marten  (H.  B.  Sable);  250,000  Skunk  ;  253,000  Raccoon  ; 
and  150,000  Mink-skins  were  sold.  The  furs  and  skins  are  always  sold  at 
auction  m  lots.  Those  who  are  not  acquainted  with  the  system  by  which 
they  are  disposed  of  would  be  as  interested  as  astonished  if  they  spent  an 
hour  in  one  of  the  sale-rooms  during  the  progress  of  a  great  sale.  Each  lot 
submitted  often  represents  in  value  hundreds  of  pounds  sterling,  notwith- 
standing which  there  is  seldom  a  word  heard  beyond  those  of  the  broker 
giving  out  the  number  of  the  lot  and  repeating  the  amount  of  the  bids,  the 
whole  business  being  conducted  in  such  a  quiet  and  orderly  manner  that  a 
stranger  would  scarcely  imagine  such  valuable  goods  were  changing  hands. 
The  crowd  surrounding  the  auctioneer  is  a  motley  one,  Russians,  Germans, 
Poles,  and  French  being  the  largest  buyers,  and  naturally  amongst  these 
there  is  a  preponderance  of  the  Hebraic  element.  Of  course  the  skins  and 
furs  have  been  on  view  for  some  days  previous  to  the  sale,  and  as  they  are 
gonerally  in  a  raw  state,  with  the  pelt  outside,  there  is  merely  the  fringe  to 
guide  the  purchaser.  It  therefore  requires  great  judgment  to  discriminate 
their  values,  but  the  delicacy  of  touch  of  the  really  genuine  merchant  is 
such  that  he  seldom  makes  a  mistake.  No  skins,  however,  are  seen  in  the 
auction  rooms,  but  only  at  the  warehouses,  where  they  are  on  view  some 
days  before  the  sale. 

Habits  of  the  Weasel. — Apropos  of  the  enquiry  whether  Stoats  and 
Weasels  kill  Moles  (Zool.  1886,  p.  456),  I  would  now  ask  do  Weasels  kill 
eaeh  other?  A  short  time  ago  my  brothers,  when  golfing  on  the  Leven 
and  Lundin  Links,  near  Windygates,  Fife,  noticed  a  Weasel  come  out  of 
the  rough  bents  at  the  side  of  the  golfing  course,  carrying  something  large 
in  its  mouth.  It  came  along  at  a  smart  canter,  with  its  head  held  high, — 
like  a  small  retriever  carrying  a  large  hare, — its  burden  balanced  across  its 
jaws.  My  brothers  gave  chase,  and,  not  without  difficulty,  forced  it  to  drop 
its  load  to  save  its  own  life,  when  to  their  astonishment  they  found  the 


Weasel  had  beeu  carrying  the  body  of  another  full-grown  Weasel !  The 
question  is,  had  the  one  Weasel  killed  the  other,  and  was  it  carrying  it 
off  to  eat  it,  or  was  it  a  case  of  a  faithful  mate  or  friend  bearing  off  the 
dead  for  burial  ?  I  should  add  that  there  were  no  marks  on  the  dead 
Weasel  to  indicate  that  it  had  died  a  violent  death. — Charles  Cook 
(Wiadygates,  Fife). 


Ruddy  Sheldrake  in  Ireland. —  Having  made  enquiries  about  three 
separate  captures  of  this  species  in  June  and  July  last,  I  beg  to  offer  the 
following  particulars.  Mr.  Robert  Twiss,  who  killed  two  on  the  Shannon 
on  the  16th  June,  writes  : — "  The  two  Ruddy  Sheldrakes  which  I  shot  were 
male  and  female.  When  I  first  saw  them  they  were  feeding  on  a  sandy 
beach.  I  sent  my  man  in  a  boat  to  drive  them  over  to  me,  but  they  got 
up  wild  and  flew  down  the  Shannon  over  half  a  mile,  and  pitched  on  a 
strand  at  the  mouth  of  Cool  River,  where  it  empties  itself  into  the  Shannon. 
They  only  remained  there  for  a  few  seconds,  when  they  got  up  again  and 
flew  at  least  two  miles  down  the  river,  and  I  sent  my  man  after  them.  He 
succeeded  in  turning  them  back  to  me,  and  when  they  settled  on  the  stream 
I  got  behind  some  bushes  and  stalked  them.  I  am  sure  they  could  not  have 
been  escaped  birds,  for  they  were  so  very  wary."  Mr.  Twiss  adds  that 
William  Goggin,  a  farmer,  who  lives  near  O'Brien's  Bridge,  has  now 
preserved  in  his  possession  two  Egyptian  Geese,  male  and  female,  which 
he  shot  about  nine  years  ago  on  the  same  part  of  the  Shannon.  The  second 
occurrence  of  Ruddy  Sheldrakes  is  reported  by  Mr.  Rohu,  bird  and  animal 
preserver,  Cork,  who  states  that  on  the  26th  June  Mr.  P.  O'Connell  wounded 
one  of  these  birds  out  of  a  flock  of  six  on  the  sea,  at  Bullen's  Bay,  near  the 
Old  Head  of  Kinsale.  He  recovered  it  a  few  days  later  on  a  bog  near  the 
sea,  and  it  was  sent  to  Mr.  Rohu  for  preservation.  The  third  capture  above 
referred  to  was  made  by  the  keeper  of  Mr.  Stephen  Greehan,  of  Clonmeen 
Banteer,  in  an  inland  and  northern  part  of  the  Co.  Cork,  between  thirty- 
five  and  forty  miles  in  a  direct  line  from  the  Old  Head  of  Kinsale.  About 
this  specimen  Mr.  Greehan  writes  : — "  My  keeper  shot  it  about  July  16th 
(as  near  as  I  can  recollect),  as  three  of  them  rose  out  of  a  small  pond  in  the 
middle  of  a  field  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  the  river  (Black water?). 
They  got  up  like  ordinary  Wild  Ducks,  and  all  appeared  to  be  alike." 
I  inspected  this  bird  (a  male  in  fine  plumage)  and  the  female  shot  near 
Kinsale,  both  of  which  appeared  to  be  adults,  and  could  see  no  traces  of 
confinement.  The  ends  of  the  primaries  in  each  were  a  little  worn,  but 
this  was  only  the  result  of  natural  wear,  none  of  the  feathers  being  at  all 
broken  or  draggled.  Even  assuming  that  the  birds  met  with  near  Clon- 
meen belonged  to  the  Kinsale  flock,  which  is  by  no  means  proved,  we  have 
still  two  distinct  captures  of  this  species  at  points  so  far  apart  as  Kinsale 
and  the  Shannon  near  Lough  Derg.      The  season  was  certainly  one  at 


which  we  should  rather  expect  ducks  to  be  breeding,  not  migrating,  and  too 
early  for  the  flight  of  birds  of  the  3'ear.  Against  the  theory  of  their  being 
all  "escapes,"  I  may  point  to  the  general  absence  in  Ireland  of  a  taste  for 
keeping  rare  waterfowl.  If,  however,  any  large  number  of  Ruddy  Shel- 
drakes are  known  to  have  escaped  last  summer  from  any  private  water 
I  hope  this  notice  will  elicit  a  statement  of  the  circumstances. — R.  J.  Ussher 
Cappagh,  Co.  Waterford). 

[A  letter  from  Mr.  Rohu,  for  which  we  are  obliged,  confirms  the  account 
above  given  of  the  two  specimens  forwarded  to  him  for  preservation  by 
Mr.  O'Connell  and  Mr.  Greehan.— Ed.] 

Little  Guil  in  Co.  Durham. — In  reference  to  the  editorial  comment  on 
ray  note  of  the  occurrence  of  this  species  in  Co.  Durham  (Zool.  188G, 
p.  457),  I  write  to  say  the  bird  is  certainly  a  Little  Gull,  Lariis  miiiutus,  in 
first  plumage,  and  not  a  Sabine's  Gull,  as  suggested.  The  statements  of 
dimensions,  which  I  gave,  are,  I  think,  sufiicient  to  prove  this,  the  length 
of  Sabine's  Gull  being  given  in  "  Yarrell "  as  13  inches,  while  that  of  the 
present  bird  was  but  9 ^  inches — a  considerable  difference.  I  cau  hardly 
agree  with  the  Editor's  statement  that  the  tail  of  the  Little  Gull  is  square 
at  the  extremity.  [It  is  so  stated  in  the  4th  edition  of  "Yarrell,"  vol.  iii. 
p.  592,  as  well  as  in  Seebohm's  '  British  Birds,'  vol.  iii.  p.  297. — Ed.] 
An  examination  of  a  number  of  specimens  shows  that  in  the  immature 
stage  it  is  nearly  always  distinctly  forked, — as  much  so  as,  say,  that  of  a 
Grey-hen, — though  not  so  markedly  forked  as  in  Sabine's  Gull.  Even  in 
adult  specimens  of  L.  minutus,  when  the  tail-feathers  are  not  abraded,  it  is 
slightly  forked.  The  feature  is  interesting,  not  only  as  forming  a  con- 
necting link  with  the  Terns,  but  perhaps  also  as  pointing  to  a  common 
ancestry  of  both  groups. — Abel  Chapman  (Roker,  Sunderland). 

Montagu's  Harrier  in  Notts. — It  is  with  regret  that  I  record  the 
slaughter  of  this  rare  bird  in  June  last  at  Boughton  in  Nottinghamshire ; 
an  immature  male,  just  beginning  to  asume  the  slate-coloured  back.  A 
careful  comparison  of  the  wings  of  this  bird  with  those  of  the  Hen 
Harrier  placed  its  identity  beyond  a  doubt.  The  contents  of  the  stomach 
consisted  of  the  remains  of  larks'  eggs  in  various  stages  of  incul)ation  ; 
perhaps  also,  from  their  resemblance,  there  may  have  been  some  Tree 
Pipits'  amongst  them. — W.  Bkcher  (Wellow,  Newark-on-Trent). 

[These  "  hunting-hawks,"  as  they  are  called  in  some  parts  of  the 
country,  from  their  habit  of  flying  low  and  quartering  their  ground  like 
pointers  or  setters,  are  now  more  frequently  met  with  in  England  during 
the  autumn  months.  In  October  last  another  Montagu's  Harrier  was  shot 
near  Hastings,  as  recorded  in  the  present  number  by  Mr.  Theobald. 
A  Hen  Harrier,  Circus  cyaneus,  was  shot  by  one  of  Lord  Scarsdale's 
keepers  on  the  moors  at  Wild  Boar  Clough,  near  Macclesfield,  eaily  in 


November  last ;  and  on  the  30th  of  the  same  month  a  Marsh  Harrier, 
Circus  arnginosus,  was  killed  in  a  marsh  near  Christchurch,  Hants. 
Montagu's  Harrier  is  perhaps  nowadaj's  the  commonest  of  the  three  species 
in  England.  A  most  interesting  account  of  the  breeding  of  the  Hen 
Harrier  in  Lincolnshire  sixty  years  ago  will  be  found  in  '  The  Field '  of  the 
4th  December  last. — Ed.] 

Blackcap  in  Co.  Waterford  in  December.— On  Dec.  5th,  1886,  as  I 
was  strolling  through  a  fir  plantation  here,  I  saw  to  my  amazement  a  male 
Blackcap  fly  up  and  perch  within  a  few  yards  of  me.  I  had  a  good  stare 
at  him,  for  he  was  not  particularly  shy.  There  was  no  mistaking  the 
species;  top  of  head  jet  black,  mantle  slaty,  under  parts  pale  grey.  He 
busied  himself  searching  the  branches  of  the  Scotch  firs.  The  season  has 
been  very  mild  hitherto,  without  any  frost  worth  mentioning.  On 
December  18th,  1856,  I  found  a  male  Blackcap,  recently  dead,  here,  and  a 
pair  bred  in  1885,  near  Clashmore  (Zool.  1885,  p.  261).  These  are  the 
only  instances  in  which  I  have  undoubtedly  met  with  Blackcaps  here, 
though  they  seem  to  be  regular  visitants  in  small  numbers  to  Co.  Wicklow, 
which  is  nearer  to  the  sources  of  immigration.  How  striking  is  the 
abundance  in  this  part  of  Ireland  of  the  Whitethroat,  the  Sedge  and 
Willow  Warblers  and  Chiffchaff,  especially  of  the  last,  as  contrasted  with 
the  absence  of  so  many  other  insect-finding  summer  migrants,  as  the 
Whinchat,  Redstart,  Garden  Warbler,  Lesser  Whitethroat,  Reed  and 
Wood  Warblers,  Ray's  Wagtail,  and  Tree  Pipit,  which  I  have  never  met 
with  !  How  these  arbitrary  distinctions  of  breeding-range  among  kindred 
species  show  that  migration  is  an  inherited  habit  ! — R.  J.  Ussher  (Cappagh, 
Co.  Waterford). 

Storm  Petrel  in  London. — At  the  last  meeting  of  the  Linnean  Society, 
held  at  Burlington  House  on  December  16th,  a  Storm  Petrel  was  exhibited, 
which  had  been  picked  up  on  Dec.  9th  in  an  exhausted  state  near  the 
Serpentine  in  Kensington  Gardens.  Its  appearance  so  far  from  the  sea  is 
doubtless  to  be  accounted  for  by  the  very  tempestuous  weather  which 
prevailed  about  that  date. — J.  E.  Harting. 

Red-throated  Diver  breeding  in  Co.  Donegal. — Mr  H.  M.  Wallis  con- 
cludes his  notice  of  the  Tree  Sparrow  at  Aranmore  (Zool.  1886,  p.  489)  by  the 
following  allusion  to  this  much  more  interesting  species,  which  cannot,  like 
the  Tree  Sparrow,  be  of  recent  introduction.  He  says,  "  I  found  the  Red- 
throated  Diver  breeding  on  the  mainland  (Co.  Donegal),  but  this  I  think 
you  recorded  last  year."  It  appeared  from  the  notice  referred  to  (Zool. 
1885,  p.  348)  that  Mr.  Lloyd  Patterson  received  from  Co.  Donegal  eggs 
which  were  identified  as  those  of  the  Red-throated  Diver,  the  first  evidence 
recorded  of  the  species  breeding  in  Ireland.  As  Mr.  Wallis  is  able  tooff'cr 
fresh  information  on  the  subject,  I  trust  he  will  favour  the  readers  of '  The 


Zoologist'  with  all  the  circumstances,  and  state  whether  he  found  the  eggs 
or  young  birds. — R.  J.  Usshek  (Cappagh,  Co.  Waterford). 

Phalaropes,  Fulmar  Petrel,  and  Montagu's  Harrier  near  Hastings. 
—  After  the  stormy  weather  in  October  last  1  shot  a  Grey  Phalarope 
(Phalaropus  lobatus)  on  the  marshes  near  St.  Leonard's,  and  two  more 
were  shot  in  the  same  vicinity.  From  other  places  in  the  neighbourhood 
many  more  were  recorded,  and  at  the  same  time  a  Red-necked  Phalarope 
(P.  hyperboreus)  was  killed.  In  the  last  week  of  October  a  Montagu's 
Harrier  (Circus  cinereus)  was  shot  on  the  marshes  to  the  east  of  Hastings 
and  sent  over  to  a  local  taxidermist  for  preservation,  who  also  had  a  fine 
Fulmar  Petrel  (Procllaria  glacialis),  found  a  year  ago  in  an  exhausted  state 
on  the  marshes  near  Rye. — F.  V.  Thkobald  (St.  Leonard"s-on-Sea). 

Snow  Bunting  on  Ben  Nevis  in  Summer, — During  a  short  tour  in 
Scotland  last  September,  while  staying  at  Fort  WiUiam,  we  made  the  ascent 
to  Ben  Nevis,  and  there  at  the  Observatory  saw  Snow  Buntings  in  their 
summer  residence,  and  from  information  heard  that  they  breed  there,  being 
seen  the  whole  spring  and  summer. — E.  C.  Moor  (Great  Bealings,  Wood- 
bridge,  Suffolk).  [See  a  note  on  the  Snow  Bunting  breeding  in  Scotland, 
Zool.  1886,  p.  336.— Ed.] 

Nesting  of  the  Sedge  Warbler. — Last  summer  I  took  two  nests  of  this 
species,  differing  considerably  in  their  construction  from  the  general 
fashion,  and  partaking  more  of  the  character  of  the  Reed  Warbler  than  that 
of  the  Sedge  Warbler;  both  are  lined  with  hair,  in  one  some  feathers  are 
interwoven  with  the  lining.  The  bottom  of  both  nests  was  placed  at  least 
twelve  inches  from  the  ground,  in  reeds  and  sedge  by  the  side  of  the 
Norwich  River,  near  Hardley  Cross,  and  in  both  reeds  pass  through  the 
fabric  of  the  nests,  though  they  are  not  so  actually  dependent  from  the 
reeds,  as  is  the  case,  so  far  as  my  experience  goes,  with  the  Reed  Warbler. 
I  was,  however,  so  much  struck  with  the  peculiar  construction  of  these 
nests,  that  I  captured  the  two  birds  belonging  to  one  of  them  ;  they 
proved  to  be  Sedge  Warblers. — G.  Smith  (Great  Yarmouth.) 

Immigration  of  Fieldfares. — On  November  8th  we  were  visited  by 
numerous  flocks  of  Fieldfares,  all  flying  in  the  same  direction,  from  east  to 
west,  the  flights  continuous  and  following  each  other  at  short  intervals. 
Thev  did  not  deviate  from  their  course  in  the  least,  but  each  flock  followed 
in  the  direction  of  the  one  before  it.  They  flew  low,  just  topping  the 
hedges  and  woods ;  a  few  struck  against  the  telegraph  wires  on  our 
railway;  five  were  picked  up  and  brought  to  me  in  the  evening.  I 
observed  a  similar  occurrence,  in  vastly  superior  numbers,  in  the  autumn 
of  1878,  just  previous  to  the  two  following  severe  winters,  since  which  time 
Fieldfares  about  here  have  been  scarce. — Walter  Prentis  (Rainham). 


Distribution  of  the  White-bellied  Brent  Goose.— So  far  as  I  know, 
little  or  no  attention  has  hitheito  been  paid  to  the  distribution  of  the  White- 
bellied  Brent  Goose  during  its  stay  with  us;  the  only  locality  named 
for  its  occurrence  in  the  4th  edition  of  Yarrell's  'British  Birds'  being 
the  I<incolnshire  sea-board.  As  winter  is  come  it  would  be  well  if 
ornithologists  would  look  out  for,  and  record,  the  occurrence  of  this  very 
marked  race  of  goose.  To  set  the  ball  rolling,  let  me  say  that  a  young 
White-bellied  Brent  Goose  was  shot  on  Loch  Pooltiel,  Isle  of  Skye,  on 
October  28th,  1886.— H.  A.  Macpherson  (3,  Kensington  Gardens  Sq.,  W.). 

M  O  L  L  U  S  C  A. 

Habits  of  Testacella  haliotidea. — Between  four  and  five  months  ago 
I  found  eleven  specimens  of  this  slug  upon  a  low  wall  surrounding  the 
garden  of  a  house  near  the  Oxford  University  Parks,  and  on  the  following 
day  I  captured  eleven  more  in  the  same  place.  There  had  been  exceptionally 
heavy  rain,  extending  over  some  days,_ immediately  previous  to  those  on 
which  I  found  the  specimens,  and  it  therefore  seems  probable  that  these 
animals  are  driven  out  of  the  earth  when  it  becomes  sodden  with  moisture. 
Thus  it  is  possible  to  account  for  the  capture  of  a  very  unusual  number  of 
specimens,  for,  as  far  as  I  can  learn,  the  species  has  hitherto  only  been  met 
with  singly  in  this  locality.  I  have  also  ascertained  what  happens  to  the  ani- 
mals when  the  earth  in  which  they  are  contained  becomes  hard  and  dry  from 
loss  of  water.  A  few  of  the  twenty-two  specimens  were  killed  and  hardened, 
and  the  remainder  were  put  in  a  box  containing  earth,  in  which  they  buried 
themselves.  In  the  press  of  other  work  the  box  was  neglected,  and  remained 
untouched  in  my  laboratory  until  to-day,  the  earth  having  quickly  dried  into 
a  hard  cake.  To-day  I  emptied  the  box,  and  fully  expected  to  find  the 
slugs  dried  up  dead,  but  to  my  surprise  I  found  twelve  specimens  alive, 
each  encysted  in  a  thin  transparent  capsule  formed  of  the  hardened  mucous 
secretion  of  the  animal's  skin.  The  body  was  contracted,  and  oval  in  shape, 
but  it  had  been  so  completely  protected  from  evaporation  that  there  was  no 
noticeable  reduction  in  bulk  after  these  hottest  months  of  the  year,  durin^ 
which  water  had  been  entirely  withheld.  One  or  two  specimens  had  died 
almost  immediately  after  capture,  and  a  few  escaped,  so  that  all  those  which 
had  been  exposed  to  the  heat  and  dryness  in  the  box  had  become  encysted, 
and  survived  in  apparent  health. — Edwakd  B.  Poulton  (Wykeham  House, 
Oxford)  in  '  Nature." 

A  Correction. — Kindly  spare  me  space  to  observe  that  A.  H.  Mac- 
pherson and  H.  A.  Macpherson  have  separate  existences.  Owing  to  the 
unlucky  similarity  of  initials,  several  notes  of  my  cousin,  A.  H.  Macpherson, 
of  Oxford,  have  been  attributed  to  me  in  the  Index  of  the  volume  for  1886; 
and  various  friends  have  also  identified  our  unfortunate  individualities  as 
one  and  the  same. — H.  A.  Macpherson  (3,  Kensington  Gardens  Square). 



LiNNEAN  Society  of  London. 

November  18,  1886. — William  Oarruthers,  F.R,  S.,  President,  in  the 

Mr.  Henrj  Bury  was  elected  a  Fellow  of  the  Society. 

Mr.  A.  D.  Michael  exhibited  living  specimens  and  preparations  of  an 
Argas,  received  from  Mrs.  Crawford,  the  State  Entomologist  of  Adelaide, 
Australia.  These  appear  to  be  identical  with  the  much-dreaded  Argas 
persicus,  Fischer,  the  bite  of  which  is  supposed  to  cause  madness  and 

The  fifth  and  concluding  part  of  the  Rev.  A.  E.  Eaton's  Monograph  of 
the  Recent  Fpheraeridte,  or  Mayflies,  was  read  in  abstract.  He  states  that 
in  his  entire  memoir  55  genera  and  270  species  have  been  characterized, 
in  addition  to  eleven  nameless  nymphs  and  nineteen  species  named  by 
other  authors,  which  cannot  now  be  classified  exactly.  Amongst  them  five 
genera  and  sixty-eight  species  may  be  reckoned  new  to  Science,  and  thirteen 
of  the  older  species  have  had  to  be  renamed.  The  author  gives  a  revised 
summary  of  the  groups,  series,  sections,  and  genera,  a  full  description  of 
the  figures  in  the  plates,  and  complete  index  to  the  species,  and  a  contents 
generally  of  the  volume. 

Besides  the  foregoing  zoological  contributions  a  number  of  interesting 
exhibitions  and  papers  of  a  botanical  character  were  brought  forward  and 

December  2,  1886. — William  Oarruthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the 

The  following  gentlemen  were  elected  Fellows  of  the  Society,  viz. : — 
Dr.  Robert  von  Lendenfeld,  Messrs.  J.  W.  Willis  Bund,  Arthur  Dendy, 
Anthony  Gepp,  Kutaro  Ito,  F.  Krause,  Francis  Molesworth  Lascelles, 
Frederick  Sander,  John  Samson,  Harry  Sanford  Burton,  Arthur  Warwick 
Sutton,  and  Charles  W.  Wilson.  Mr.  George  Sim  was  elected  an 

Dr.  Day  read  a  paper  on  the  Lochleven  Trout,  which  is  the  form  that 
has  been  utilized  by  Sir  James  Maitland  at  Howietovvn,  where  the  elevation 
is  similar  to  that  of  their  original  home  from  which  it  is  about  twenty-five 
miles  distant.  These  fish  are  known  by  their  numerous  coecal  appendages, 
and  up  to  their  fourth  or  fifth  year  they  are  of  a  silvery  grey  with  black, 
but  no  red  spots ;  subsequently  they  become  of  a  golden  purple,  with 
numerous  black  and  red  spots.  Undergrown  ones  take  on  the  colour  of 
the  Burn-Trout.      Remove  these  fish  to  a  new  locality,  and  they  assume 


the  form  and  coloui*  of  Salmo  fario.  In  1883  a  Salmon-parr  and 
Lochleven  Trout  were  crossed,  and  the  young  assumed  the  red  adipose 
dorsal  fin  and  white-edged  margins  to  the  dorsal  and  ventral,  also  the 
orange  edges  to  both  sides  of  the  caudal — all  colours  found  in  the  brook- 
trout,  but  not  in  the  Salmou  or  Lochleven  Trout.  The  statements  that 
the  maxilla  in  this  form  does  not  extend  behind  the  eye,  that  there  is  no 
knob  on  the  lower  jaw  in  old  males,  and  that  the  fins  differ  from  those  of 
Salmo  fario  were  shown  to  be  erroneous. 

A  communication  "On  a  new  Species  of  Brachyonchus  from  the  Mergui 
Archipelago,"  by  Mr.  H.  W.  Bates,  was  read  by  the  Secretary.  The  beetle 
in  question'  is  said  to  be  intermediate  between  B.  Imvipennis  and  B.  sub- 
loivis,  both  known  only  from  Siam  and  Cochin  China. 

December  IQ. — William  Carruthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

H.R.H.  the  Prince  of  Wales  was  elected  an  Honorary  Member  of  the 

Messrs.  Arthur  Bawtree,  Frederick  Justen,  Trailskya  N.  Mukharji  (of 
Calcutta),  Francis  W.  Oliver,  and  Richard  V.  Sherring  were  elected  Fellows, 
and  Mr.  George  Nicholson  an  Associate  of  the  Society. 

The  President  announced  that  Sir  George  MacLeay,  K.C.M.G.,  F.L.S., 
had  presented  to  the  Society  a  framed  water-colour  portrait  of  the  Rev. 
William  Kirby,  F.L.S.,  the  distinguished  Entomologist;  and  the  MSS.  and 
Correspondence  of  his  Father,  Alexander  MacLeay  (elected  F.L.S.  I794j, 
formerly  Secretary  of  the  Society.  For  these  valuable  donations  a  special 
vote  of  thanks  was  unanimously  accorded  by  the  Fellows  present. 

Mr.  Edward  A.  Heath  exhibited  a  Storm  Petrel,  Procellaria  pelagica, 
which  was  picked  up  alive  in  Kensington  Gardens  on  December  9th.  It 
had  doubtless  been  driven  inland  by  the  great  storm  of  the  preceding  day. 

"  Experiments  on  the  Sense  of  Smell  in  Dogs  "  was  the  title  of  a  paper 
read  by  Dr.  George  J.  Romanes.  After  preliminary  observations  on  the 
faculties  of  special  sense  generally,  and  particularly  that  of  smell  as 
developed  in  Carnivora  and  Ruminants,  the  author  detailed  the  results  of 
some  experiments  which  he  had  made  with  a  Setter. — J.  Mdrie. 

Zoological  Society  of  London. 

November  16,  1886.— Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President, 
in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to  the 
Society's  Menagerie  during  the  months  of  June,  July,  August,  September, 
and  October,  1886,  and  called  attention  to  certain  interesting  accessions 
which  had  been  received  during  that  period.  Amongst  these  were  specially 
noted  a  specimen  of  the  Glaucous  Macaw,  Ara  glauca,  purchased  June  3rd  ; 


two  young  Tcheli  Monkeys,  Macacus  tcheliensis,  from  the  mountains  north 
of  Pekin,  presented  by  Dr.  S.  W.  Bushell  ;  and  other  animals. 

An  extract  was  read  from  a  letter  addressed  to  the  President  by 
Dr.  Emin  Bey,  dated  Wadilai,  Eastern  Equatorial  Africa,  January  1st,  1886, 
and  containing  some  notes  on  the  distribution  of  the  Anthropoid  Apes  in 
Eastern  Africa. 

A  letter  was  read,  addressed  to  the  Secretary  by  Dr.  Chr.  Liitken,  of 
Copenhagen,  containing  some  information  as  to  the  locality  of  Chiropodomys 

A  letter  was  read  from  Dr.  A.  B.  Meyer,  communicating  some  remarks 
hy  Mr.  K.  G.  Henke  on  a  specimen  of  a  hybrid  Grouse  in  the  Dresden 

Prof.  Flower  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  specimen  of  a  rare 
Armadillo,  Tatusia  pilosa,  belonging  to  the  Scarborough  Museum. 

Prof.  Bell  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  an  object  (apparently  of  the 
nature  of  an  amulet)  made  from  a  portion  of  the  skin  of  some  Mammal, 
and  received  from  Moreton  Bay,  Australia. 

Mr.  H.  Seebohm  exhibited  a  skin  of  what  he  considered  to  be  a  young 
individual  of  the  Lesser  White-fronted  Goose,  Anser  albifrons  minutus,  shot 
in  September  last  on  Holy  Island,  off  the  coast  of  Northumberland,  and 
observed  that  it  was  the  first  recorded  example  of  the  small  form  of  the 
White-fronted  Goose  which  had  been  obtained  on  the  coasts  of  our  islands. 

Mr.  Blanford  exhibited  and  made  some  remarks  on  a  mounted  specimen 
of  a  scarce  Paradoxure,  Paradoxurus  jerdoni,  from  the  Neilgherry  Hills  in 
Southern  India. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Col.  Charles  Swinhoe,  containing  an 
account  of  the  species  of  lepidopterous  insects  which  he  had  obtained  at 
Mhow,  in  Central  India. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Dr.  R.  W.  Shufeldt,  containing  an 
account  of  the  anatomy  of  Oeococcyx  calif ornianus. 

Mr.  Lydekker  described  three  crania  and  other  remains  oi  Scelidotherium, 
two  of  the  former  being  from  the  Argentine  Republic,  and  the  third  from 
Tarapaca,  in  Chili.  One  of  the  crania  from  the  first  locality  he  referred  to 
the  typical  i?.  leptocephalum  of  Owen,  while  the  second,  which  had  been 
described  by  Sir  R.  Owen  under  the  same  name,  he  regarded  as  distinct,  and 
proposed  to  call  8.  bravardi.  The  Tarapaca  form,  which  was  characterized 
by  the  extremely  short  nasals,  was  also  regarded  as  indicating  a  new  species, 
for  which  the  name  of  8.  chilense  was  proposed.  The  author  concluded 
that  there  were  not  sufficient  grour^ds  for  separating  Lund's  proposed 
genus  Platyonyx  from  8celidutherium. 

Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger  pointed  out  that  two  distinct  forms  of  the 
Batrachian  genus  Bombinator  occur  in  Central  Europe,  and  read  notes  on 
their  distinctive  characters  and  geographical  distribution. 


A  communication  was  read  from  Dr.  R.  W.  Shufeldt,  containing  a 
correction,  with  additional  notes,  upon  the  anatomy  of  the  Trochilida, 
CaprimulgidcB,  and  Cypselida. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Dr.  E.  A.  Philippi,  containing  a  pre- 
liminary notice  of  some  of  the  Tortoises  and  Fishes  of  the  coast  of  Chili. 

Mr.  Sclater  exhibited  the  head  of,  and  made  remarks  upon  an  apparently 
undescribed  species  of  Gazelle  from  Somali-land. 

December  1,  1886.— Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President, 
in  the  chair. 

Prof.  Bell  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  rare  Entozoon,  Tcenia  nana, 
from  the  human  subject. 

Mr.  Tegetmeier  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  pair  of  antlers  of  an 
Elk,  Alces  machlis,  said  to  have  been  recently  obtained  in  the  Galtee 
mountains  in  Ireland. 

Mr.  Frank  E.  Beddard  read  a  paper  on  the  development  and  structure 
of  the  ovum  in  the  Dipnoid  fishes.  The  present  communication  was  a 
continuation  of  a  research  into  the  structure  of  the  ovary  in  Protopterus. 
The  author,  besides  being  able  to  give  a  more  complete  account  of  the 
ovarian  ova  of  Protopterus,  was  able  to  supplement  this  account  with 
some  further  notes  respecting  the  structures  observed  in  the  ovary  of 

Mr.  A.  Smith  Woodward  read  a  paper  on  the  anatomy  and  systematic 
position  of  the  Liassic  Selachian,  Squaloraja  polyspondyla.  After  a  brief 
notice  of  previous  researches,  the  author  attempted  an  almost  complete 
description  of  the  skeletal  parts  of  Squaloraja,  as  revealed  by  a  fine  series 
of  fossils  in  the  British  Museum.  He  confirmed  Davies's  determination  of 
the  absence  of  the  cephalic  spine  in  certain  individuals  (presumably  females), 
and  added  further  evidence  of  its  prehensile  character,  suggesting  also  that 
the  various  detached  examples  afforded  indications  of  one  or  more  new 
species.  The  author  concluded  with  some  general  remarks  on  the  affinities 
of  the  genus,  and  proposed  to  institute  a  new  family,  "  Squalorajidse,"  which 
might  be  placed  near  the  Pristiophoridse  and  Rhinobatidse. 

Mr.  Sclater  pointed  out  the  characters  of  an  apparently  new  Parrot  of 
the  genus  Conurus,  from  a  specimen  living  in  the  Society's  Gardens.  The 
species  was  proposed  to  be  called  Conurus  rubritorqiiis. 

Mr.  F.  Day  communicated  (on  the  part  of  Mr.  J.  Douglas  Ogilby,  of 
the  Australian  Museum,  Sydney)  a  paper  on  an  undescribed  fish  of  the 
genus  Pimelopterus  from  Port  Jackson,  New  South  Wales,  proposed  to  be 
named  P.  meridionalis. 

Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger  read  a  paper  on  the  South  African  Tortoises 
allied  to  Testudo  geometrica,  and  pointed  out  the  characters  of  three  new 
species  of  this  group,  which  he  proposed  to  call  Testudo  trimeni,  T.  smithii, 

ZOOLOGIST. — JAN.  1887.  I> 


and  T.fiski.  A  second  paper  by  Mr.  Boulenger  contained  some  criticisms 
on  Prof.  W.  K.  Parker's  paper  "  On  the  Skull  of  the  Chameleons,"  read  at 
a  previous  meeting  of  the  Society. 

Mr.  Oldfield  Thomas  read  a  paper  on  the  Wallaby  commonly  known  as 
Lagorchestes  fasclatus,  and  showed  that  the  dentition  of  this  animal  was 
entirely  different  in  character,  not  only  to  that  of  the  typical  species  of 
Lagorchestes,  but  even  to  that  of  all  the  other  members  of  the  subfamily 
Macropodinse.  He  therefore  proposed  to  form  a  new  genus  for  its  reception, 
to  which  he  gave  the  name  of  Lagostrophxis. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Prof.  R.  CoUett,  containing  the  descrip- 
tion of  a  new  Pouched  Mouse  from  Northern  Queensland,  which  he  proposed 
to  name  Antechinm  thomasi. — P.  L.  Sclater,  Secretary. 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

December  ],  1886. — Robert  M'Lachlan,  Esq.,  F.R.S.,  President,  in 
the  chair. 

Mr.  W.  H.  Miskin,  of  Brisbane,  Queensland,  Mr.  R.  E.  Salwey,  of 
Folkestone,  and  Mr.  F.  W.  Biddle,  M.A.,  of  Beckenham,  were  elected 

Mr.  Howard  Vaughan  exhibited  a  long  series  of  Gnophos  ohscurata, 
comprising  specimens  from  various  parts  of  Ireland,  North  Wales,  York- 
shire, Berwick-on-Tweed,  the  New  Forest,  Folkestone,  Lewes,  and  the 
Surrey  Hills.  The  object  of  the  exhibition  was  to  show  the  variation  of 
the  species  in  connection  with  the  geological  formations  of  the  various 
localities  from  which  the  specimens  were  obtained. 

Dr.  Sharp  showed  a  series  of  drawings  of  New  Zealand  Coleoptera,  by 
Freiherr  von  Schlereth,  which,  though  executed  in  pencil,  were  remarkable 
for  their  delicacy  and  accuracy. 

Mr.  R.  Adkin  exhibited  specimens  of  Cidaria  reticulata,  recently  bred 
by  Mr.  H.  Murray,  of  Caruforth,  from  larvae  collected  by  him  near  Winder- 
mere, on  Impatiens  noli-me-tangere.  Mr.  Adkin  said  that  as  the  food-plant 
was  so  extremely  local,  and  consequently  difficult  for  Mr.  Murray  to  obtain, 
he  had  endeavoured  to  get  the  larvae  to  feed  on  some  other  species  of 
balsam,  including  the  large  garden  species,  usually  known  as  Canadian 
balsam,  but  that  he  had  not  succeeded  in  doing  so.  Mr.  E.  B.  Poulton 
observed  that  this  statement  tended  to  confirm  the  remarks  he  made  at  a 
recent  meeting  of  the  Society  on  the  subject  of  the  habits  of  lepidopterous 
larvae  with  reference  to  their  food-plants. 

Mr.  Billups  exhibited  a  number  of  living  specimens  of  Aleurodes 
vaporarioruvL  (Westw.),  obtained  from  a  greenhouse  at  Snaresbrook,  where 
they  had  caused  great  havoc  amongst  tomato  plants  {Lycopersicum  escu- 
lentvm).    He  remarked  that  the  species  had  been  first  figured  and  described 


by  Prof.  Westwood  in  the  '  Gardener's  Chronicle,'  1856,  and  that  attention 
had  been  recently  called  to  it  by  Mr.  Douglas  (Ent.  Mo.  Mag.  for  December). 
Mr.  J.  Jenner  Weir  stated  that  plants  in  his  greenhouse  had  been  attacked 
by  the  same  species. 

Mr.  Poulton  exhibited  the  bright  green  blood  of  the  pupa  of  Smerinthus 
tilicB,  which  is  one  of  many  lepidopterous  pupae  possessing  in  the  blood  a 
clilorophyll-like  pigment  called  meta-chlorophyll  by  Mr.  Poulton.  The 
blood  of  the  larva  contains  the  same  pigment  in  a  much  smaller  amount, 
while  in  the  pupa  the  additional  colouring-matter  fixed  in  the  larval 
hypoderinic  cells  also  passes  into  solution  in  the  blood.  By  means  of  a 
micro-spectroscope  Mr.  Poulton  was  able  to  show  the  most  characteristic 
absorption-band  of  the  pigment,  together  with  its  resemblance  to  chlorophyll. 

Mr.  G.  T.  Porritt  exhibited  forms  of  Cidaria  suffumata  from  Hudders- 
field,  including  one  very  similar  to  that  taken  at  Dover  by  Mr.  Sydney 
Webb  (Proc.  Ent.  Soc.  1886,  p.  xxv) ;  and  one  still  more  extreme,  having 
only  the  basal  mark  and  the  central  stripe,  with  a  slight  streak  at  the  tip, 
brown,  the  remainder  of  the  wings  being  perfectly  white.  He  also  exhibited 
a  series  of  small  bilberry-fed  Hypsipetes  elutata  from  Huddersfield,  showing 
green,  red-brown,  and  black  forms. 

Mr.  S.  Stevens  exhibited  forms  of  Gamptogramma  hilineata  and  Em- 
melesia  albulata  from  the  Shetland  Isles,  and  a  curious  variety  of  Chelonia 
caja  from  Norwich. 

The  Secretary  read  a  letter  from  the  Administrator-General  of  British 
Guiana,  on  the  subject  of  the  urticating  properties  possessed  by  the  larvae 
and  pupae  of  certain  species  of  Lepidoptera  collected  in  Demerara. 

Mr.  M'Lachlan  read  "  A  Note  concerning  certain  Nemopteridae." 

Miss  E.  A.  Ormerod  communicated  a  paper  "  On  the  occurrence  of  the 
Hessian  Fly  [Cecidomyia  destructor)  in  Great  Britain."  It  appeared  from 
this  paper  that  there  could  be  no  longer  any  doubt  as  to  the  occurrence  of 
the  insect  in  this  country,  specimens  obtained  in  Hertfordshire  having 
been  submitted  to,  and  identified  by.  Prof.  Westwood,  and  by  Mr.  W. 
Saunders,  of  London,  Ontario.  Prof.  Westwood  said  the  specimens  agreed 
exactly  with  Austrian  specimens  in  his  possession,  sent  to  him  some  years 
ago  by  Mens.  Lefebvre,  who  had  received  them  from  the  late  Dr.  Hammer- 
schmidt,  of  Vienna.  A  discussion  followed  the  reading  of  this  paper,  in 
which  the  President,  Mr.  C.  0.  Waterhouse,  Mr.  Theodore  Wood,  and 
others,  took  part. 

At  the  close  of  the  Ordinary  Meeting  a  Special  Meeting  was  held,  for 
the  purpose  of  considering  certain  proposed  alterations  in  the  Bye- Laws. 
These  having  been  explained  to  the  meeting  were,  after  some  discussion, 
agreed  to,  and  the  proceedings  terminated. — H.  Goss,  Secretary. 



Letters  on  Sjiort  in  Eastern  Bengal.  By  Frank  B.  Simson  (Bengal 
Civil  Service  Eetired).  Eoyal  8vo,  pp.  252,  with  ten  illus- 
trations.    London  :  E.  H,  Porter.    1886. 

Since  the  publication  of  Mr.  Sanderson's  '  Thirteen  Years 
amongst  the  Wild  Beasts  of  India '  in  1879,  no  better  book  on 
Sport  in  India  has  appeared  than  that  now  before  us.  With  a 
longer  experience  even  than  that  of  his  predecessor,  Mr.  Simson 
is  able  not  only  to  confirm  from  personal  observation  much  that 
was  already  known  concerning  the  haunts  and  habits  of  the  animals 
which  usually  come  under  the  denomination  of  "  big  game,"  but 
in  many  cases  to  supplement  the  remarks  of  previous  writers 
with  useful  information.  His  special  delight  seems  to  have 
been  the  chase  of  the  Wild  Boar,  on  which  subject  he  writes 
enthusiastically  ;  and  it  must  be  confessed  that  from  a  sports- 
man's point  of  view  he  has  left  little  to  be  said  by  any  future 
votary  of  this  particular  branch  of  sport  who  may  contemplate 
writing  upon  it.  It  is  true  that  his  book  is  addressed  rather 
to  sportsmen  than  to  naturalists,  but  it  is  equally  true  that 
naturalists  would  know  very  little  about  the  habits  of  many  wild 
animals  were  it  not  for  the  published  observations  of  such  men 
as  Mr.  Simson — men  who  are  constantly  exploring  fresh  tracts 
of  country,  primarily  in  search  of  sport,  but  indirectly  helping 
with  their  carefully  kept  journals  to  elucidate  and  help  forward 
the  study  of  Zoology.  To  such  writers  especially  do  we  look  for 
information  on  the  geographical  distribution  of  animals ;  for 
they  have  such  excellent  opportunities  (if  they  will  only  take  the 
trouble)  to  furnish  lists  of  the  species  met  with  in  the  districts 
explored  by  them.  In  this  way,  and  perhaps  in  this  way  only, 
is  it  likely  that  we  shall  be  able  to  solve  some  of  the  interesting 
problems  relating  to  what  may  be  termed  the  sporadic  distribution 
of  certain  remarkable  species. 

There  are  other  points  upon  which  the  testimony  of  such 
experienced  observers  as  Mr.  Simson  is  valuable ;  such,  for 
instance,  as  the  length  of  Tigers  and  the  height  of  Elephants, 
questions  which   are   repeatedly  cropping   up,    and   to   answer 

NOTICES    OF    NEW   BOOKS.  37 

which  it  is  desirable  to  have  some  trustworthy  statistics.     On 
the  subject  of  Tigers  Mr,  Simson  writes  : — 

"I  have  no  need  to  tell  you  much  about  the  natural  history  of  the 
Tiger;  specimens  are  to  be  seen  in  every  menagerie.  But  as  to  his  size 
you  will  have  very  different  accounts.  There  was  an  article  on  this 
subject,  written  by  my  friend  Sir  Joseph  Fayrer,  in  '  Nature  '  for  November, 
1878.  The  statements  of  many  experienced  sportsmen  were  recorded,  my 
own'among  the  number.  I  say  there  that  no  Tiger  killed  by  me  measured 
more  than  eleven  feet  from  snout  to  tail  when  properly  measured.  I  have 
shot  with  several  of  the  gentlemen  whose  notes  were  recorded  by  Sir  Joseph. 
A  curious  thing  happened  when  I  was  shooting  with  Mr.  C.  Shillingford, 
which  I  will  relate  presently.  Had  that  Tiger  been  measured  before  he 
was  skinned  in  my  presence,  I  might  have  been  able  to  say  I  had  shot  a 
Tiger  between  eleven  and  twelve  feet  long ;  but  though  I  wounded  the 
animal  when  alive,  I  was  not  present  when  he  was  killed.  I  merely,  to  my 
chagrin,  was  repeatedly  shown  the  skin  afterwards.  I  may  remark  that  the 
most  experienced  Tiger-shooter  in  my  own  service  stated  that  he  did  not 
think  he  had  once  killed  one  more  than  eleven  feet  and  a  few  inches  long ; 
and  I  know  he  killed  between  four  and  five  huudred  Tigers.  The  conclusion 
Sir  Joseph  comes  to,  after  careful  comparison  of  accounts,  is  that  anything 
over  ten  feet  is  very  large,  but  that  Tigers  may  exceed  ten  feet  three  inches, 
and  that,  in  a  few  rare  and  exceptional  instances,  eleven  and  even  twelve 
feet  have  been  recorded. 

"  Tigers  vary  greatly  in  size  and  weight ;  those  of  the  Tippera,  Sylhet, 
and  Chittagong  Hills  are  smaller  in  every  way,  as  far  as  my  experience 
went,  than  those  which  inhabited  the  churs  and  riverain  lands  in  the  same 
part  of  Bengal." 

To  judge  by  the  questions  which  are  repeatedly  put  to  us  on 
the  subject,  there  seems  to  be  much  difference  of  opinion  as  to 
the  height  which  Elephants  attain.  On  this  point  Mr.  Simson 
writes  as  follows  :  — 

"  I  cannot  say  much  about  exact  heights.  The  largest  Elephant  I  ever 
rode  or  saw  was  one  called  '  Bruce,'  which  belonged  to  the  Government  stud 
at  Dacca ;  it  was,  I  believe,  about  ten  feet  high,  and  had  only  one  tusk, 
which  was  magnificent.  This  animal  shook  me  to  pieces ;  I  could  not 
shoot  properly  off  him.  Latterly  he  became  so  slow  as  to  be  almost  a 
nuisance  when  in  line. 

"  My  own  female  Elephants,  the  large  howdah  ones,  varied  in  size, 
I  think,  from  a  little  under  seven  feet  to  nearly  eight  at  the  shoulder  ;  I 
never  recorded  the  exact  size.    Mahouts  and  merchants  who  sold  E>lephants 


always  made  them  out  taller  than  they  actually  were  ;  I  went  by  the  rule, 
'  Twice  round  an  Elephant's  fore  foot,  when  standing  with  it  on  the  ground, 
is  the  height  of  the  animal  at  the  shoulder.'  Stout,  deep-bodied,  short- 
legged,  broad-backed  Elephants  are  the -ones  to  choose;  lanky,  long-legged, 
narrow  animals  are  of  much  less  value." 

These  extracts  are  not  the  best  which  might  have  been  selected 
to  give  an  idea  of  the  author's  style.  He  is  seen  at  his  best  when 
graphically  describing  in  detail  the  result  of  an  enjoyable  day's 
sport,  with  all  its  varied  incidents  of  danger,  disappointment,  or 
success.  He  gives  valuable  hints  throughout  to  sportsmen  who 
may  be  keen  enough  to  follow  his  example,  but  who  lack  experience 
and  a  knowledge  of  the  country ;  while  the  interspersal  of  some 
good  anecdotes  here  and  there  make  this  book  a  most  readable 

Catalogue  of  the  Birds  of  Suffolk :  with  an  Introduction  and 
Remarks  on  their  Distribiition.  By  Churchill  Babington, 
D.D.,  F.L.S.,  &c.,  Eector  of  Cockaeld,  Suffolk.  8vo,  pp.  281, 
with  a  Map  and  seven  Photographs.  London  :  Van  Voorst. 

This  Catalogue  is  reprinted  from  the  '  Proceedings  of  the 
Suffolk  Institute  of  Archaeology  and  Natural  History,'  and  was 
issued  to  the  members  in  1884  as  far  as  the  end  of  the  Land 
Birds  (p.  110),  the  remainder  being  issued  in  1886.  It  forms  a 
welcome  addition  to  the  already  long  list  of  county  avifaunas, 
and  should  find  a  place  in  every  ornithologist's  library. 

It  is  of  course  much  easier  to  criticise  a  work  of  this  kind 
than  to  write  it,  but  we  candidly  think  that  Dr.  Babington  has 
not  hit  upon  the  best  mode  of  presenting  his  facts.  His  division 
of  the  county  into  eight  Districts  formed  by  the  combination  of 
two  or  more  Hundreds,  with  purely  artificial  boundaries,  and 
the  employment  throughout  the  volume  of  different  type  to 
indicate  this  division  and  subdivision,  tends  rather  to  perplex 
the  reader  than  to  enlighten  him.  One  has  constantly  to  turn 
back  to  the  Introduction  to  ascertain  what  districts  are  intended 
by  the  numbers  which  are  given  under  the  head  of  each  species, 
and  from  the  Introduction  one  must  go  to  the  last  chapter  in  the 
book  "  on  the  distribution  of  the  birds  of  Suffolk  "  to  discover 
the  natural  and  physical  condition  of  these  districts,  whether 

NOTICES    OF    NEW   BOOKS.  39 

woodland  or  marshland,  inland  or  littoral,  before  one  is  in  a 
position  to  estimate  the  value  of  the  information  supplied.  This 
is  too  troublesome  a  process  to  be  repeated  with  equanimity, 
especially  in  an  age  when  new  books  succeed  each  other  in  such 
rapid  succession  that  it  is  difficult  to  keep  pace  with  the  flow  of 
literature  on  any  given  subject. 

Dr.  Babington's  chapter,  however,  on  the  distribution  of  birds 
in  Suffolk  will  be  read  both  with  pleasure  and  profit,  since  it 
conveys  a  very  fair  notion  of  the  physical  aspect  of  the  county 
at  the  present  time,  and  the  changes  which  have  been  affected 
by  drainage,  cultivation  of  waste  land,  disafforesting,  and  re- 

"  The  woods  and  plautations  in  the  county  are  almost  entirely  of  modern 
growth ;  some  timber  is  also  scattered  about,  but  trees  of  all  kinds  are 
diminishing  in  many  parts  and  perhaps  generally ;  ancient  forests  such  as 
those  at  Staverton  and  Fakenham  are  very  rare,  as  are  also  old  woods, 
those  for  instance  near  Needham  Market. 

"  Of  marsh  land  there  is  now  for  the  most  part  no  great  quantity,  and 
much  fen  has  entirely  disappeared.  .  .  .  The  fens  which  once  occupied  a 
large  district  about  Mildenhall  appear  to  have  been  drained  in  the  early 
years  of  the  present  century ;  the  peat  remains  in  a  dry  form.  .  .  .  There 
are  no  mountains  and  no  rocks,  and  even  the  hills  scattered  about  the 
county  are  few  and  inconsiderable.  .  .  .  On  the  coast  there  is  abundance 
of  sand  and  shingle,  especially  on   Orford  Beach,  the  acreage  of  which  is 

probably  larger  than  anything  else  of  the  kind  on  the  east  coast 

Adjoining  the  sea  are  considerable  estuaries  formed  by  the  Stour,  the 
Orwell,  and  the  Deben.  .  .  .  There  are  also  large  pieces  of  water  of  a 
brackish  character,  particularly  Breydon  Water,  Lake  Lothing,  and  Thorpe 
Mere.  The  large  tract  of  loose  blowing  sand  below  which  there  is  chalk  at 
various  depths,  lying  in  the  north-west  part  of  the  county  and  known  as  the 
'Breck  District,'  is  a  peculiar  feature,  having  its  characteristic  avifauna." 

Dr.  Babington's  sketch  of  these  physical  conditions  no  doubt 
explains  to  some  extent  the  distribution  of  the  birds  which  are  to 
be  met  with  in  the  county,  and  accounts  for  their  great  variety. 
He  tells  us  that  247  species  may  be  regarded  with  reasonable 
certainty  as  Suffolk  birds,  and  of  these  a  very  large  proportion — 
more  than  half — are  distributed  over  the  whole  of  the  county. 
It  is  a  little  surprising  to  learn  that  no  ornithologist  in  Suffolk 
has  detected  the  presence  (even  temporarily,  as  during  the  period 
of  migration)  of  the  Water  Pipit  or  the  White  Wagtail,  and  that 


notwithstanding  the  geographical  position  of  the  county,  so 
favourably  situated  as  it  is  for  the  visits  of  feathered  stragglers 
from  the  Continent,  the  occurrence  of  the  Great  Reed  Warbler, 
Savi's  Warbler,  and  the  Ortolan  Bunting  is  considered  more  or 
less  doubtful. 

Dr.  Babington's  book  will  doubtless  awaken  fresh  interest  in 
the  study  of  Ornithology  in  Suffolk,  and  we  may  expect  to  hear 
of  the  discovery  of  these  and  some  other  species  which  hitherto 
seem  to  have  escaped  observation.  The  enumeration  of  the  local 
lists  of  birds  which  he  has  consulted,  and  the  public  and  private 
collections  in  the  county  which  he  has  examined,  testify  to  the 
care  and  pains  whieh  the  author  has  bestowed  upon  the  pre- 
paration of  this  useful  volume. 

British  Birds'  Eggs :    a  Handbook  of  British  Oology.     By  A.  G. 
BuTLEB,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S.    Parts  IV  -  VI.    8vo,  pp.  113  -  219. 

London:  E.  W.  Janson.    1886. 

Works  designed  for  publication  in  parts  do  not  always  appear 
punctually,  nor  are  they,  when  begun,  always  completed.  Mr. 
Butler  may  be  congratulated  both  upon  punctuality  and  com- 
pletion. We  have  already  noticed  the  first  three  parts  of  his 
work  (Zool.  1886,  p.  378) ;  the  remaining  three  are  now  before 
us,  forming  a  goodly  volume  of  220  pages,  with  thirty-eight 
coloured  plates  of  eggs.  Looking  at  some  of  the  earlier  jilates, 
as  they  appeared,  we  felt  compelled  to  express  disappointment, 
as  they  did  not  seem  to  us  to  be  sufidciently  accurate  in  colouring. 
In  the  later  parts  there  is  a  marked  improvement  in  this  respect, 
several  of  the  figures,  although  chromo-lithographs,  being  almost 
as  good  as  if  coloured  by  hand. 

Looking  at  the  number  of  plates  (which  contain  370  figures) 
and  the  price  at  which  the  book  is  published,  we  do  not  doubt 
that  there  are  many  who  will  be  glad  to  possess  in  a  single 
volume  a  handy  guide  such  as  this  to  the  study  of  British 
Oology.  It  may  be  added  that  Mr.  Butler  gives  figures  not  only 
of  typical  specimens  of  each  species,  but  also  of  many  of  the 
most  striking  varieties. 



Vol.  XL]  FEBRUARY,    1887.  [No.  J 22. 

By  Prof.  F.  Jeffrey  Befx,  M.A. 

We  are  so  much  in  the  habit  of  associating  hardness  of  the 
external  parts  with  the  Sea-urchin,  the  Starfish,  or  the  Brittle- 
star  that  it  is  not  at  first  sight  easy  to  believe  that  the  soft- 
boclied  Sea-slug  belongs  to  the  same  great  division  of  the  Animal 
Kingdom  as  the  forms  just  named.  There  are,  however,  very 
good  reasons  for  placing  the  Sea-slugs  or  Holothurians  (in  the 
same  division  of  the  Echinodermata  with  the  Urchins  (Echinoids), 
the  Starfishes  (Asteroids),  or  the  Brittle- stars  (Ophiuroids). 

If  we  put  our  knowledge  of  the  fact  that  a  number  of  these 
echinoderms  have  hard  outer  skins  into  a  generahsed  form,  we 
should  say  that  the  Echinodermata  had  deposits  of  lime-salts  in 
their  integument ;  this  is  as  true  of  nearly  all  Holothurians  as 
it  is  of  other  members  of  the  group ;  the  striking  difl'erence  is 
that  these  deposits  in  the  Sea-slug  are  not,  as  a  rule,  continuous  ; 
they  do  not  form  a  compact  test,  the  parts  of  which  fit  close  to 
one  another  as  they  do,  for  example,  in  the  Urchin,  nor  do  they 
form  a  lattice- work,  as  in  the  Starfish.  As  an  ordinary  rule, 
the  calcareous  deposits  are  scattered  spicules,  which  may  be 
rod-like,  cup-shaped,  or  discoid,  like  wheels  or  anchors ;  some- 
times, indeed,  they  form,  as  in  Psolus  fabricii,  a  continuous 
arrangement  of  tile-like  scales  on  the  dome-shaped  upper  surface; 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  they  sometimes  are  altogether  absent, 
or  disappear  with  the  advance  of  age ;  it  is  obvious  that  they 
must  be  reduced  to  a  minimum  in   those  species  which  are 

ZOOLOGIST. FKB.   1887.  ^ 



edible — the  Beches-de-mer,  or  TreiDangs,  which  are  so  abundant 
in  the  Eastern  Seas,  and  so  much  relished  by  the  gourmands  of 

The  possession  of  calcareous  deposits  is  but  one  of  the  two 
leading  characteristics  of  the  Eehinodermata  :  when  we  compare 
a  Starfish  with  a  Crayfish  we  see  that,  while  the  latter  has  a 
definite  right  and  left  side,  or  is  bilaterally  symmetrical,  a  Star- 
fish has  a  number  of  arms  or  rays,  or  exhibits  a  radial  symmetry  : 

and  in  the  next  place  we  observe  that, 
though  there  are  exceptions,  such  as 
in  the  case  of  the  common  Sun- star 
of  our  own  shores,  yet  the  ordinary 
rule  is  that  these  rays  are  five  in 
number.  Further,  if  we  look  to  the 
lower  surface  of  a  Starfish,  we  note 
that  along  the  rays  there  are  arranged 
double  rows  of  little  tubes  or  suckers, 
and  if  we  examine  a  Sea-urchin  we  see 
that  the  rows  of  suckers  are  separated 
by  inter-radial  spaces  in  which  there 
are  no  suckers.  Now,  if  we  examine 
a  typical  Holothurian,  such  as  a 
Cucumaria  (fig.  1)  we  find  that  there 
are  here  five  equidistant  double  rows 
of  suckers,  which  mark  the  five  rays 
and  are  separated  from  one  another 
by  bare  interradial  spaces. 

In  the  possession,  then,  of  a  quin- 
queradiate  symmetry  and  of  calca- 
reous deposits  in  its  integument  a  Holothurian  conforms  to  our 
idea  of  a  typical  Echinoderm. 

The  mouth  is  placed  at  one  end  of  the  body  and  the  vent  at 
the  other ;  round  the  mouth  is  a  circlet  of  tentacles,  which  in 
the  simplest  cases  are  ten  in  number — that  is,  there  are  five 
pairs ;  these  tentacles  may  be  withdrawn  into  the  body,  and  in 
some  cases  this  retraction  is  aided  by  five  radially  placed  muscles. 
At  the  base  of  these  tentacles  is  a  circular  vessel,  containin"-  a 
fluid  and  giving  off  branches  to  the  tentacles,  and  five  larger 
trunks  which  run  along  the  rays  of  the  body,  and  communicate 
with  the  suckers ;   this  circular  vessel,  with  its  tentacular  and 

Fig.  1. — A  Holothurian,  Cucum- 
aria Inland,  with  the  buccal 
tentacles  expanded.  Twice  the 
natural  size  (Cassell's  '  Natu- 
ral History,'  volri.  p272). 



radial  branches,  makes  up  one  of  the  most  characteristic  struc- 
tures of  Echinoderm  organisation— the  system  of  water-vessels. 
In  the  Starfish  it  communicates  directly  with  the  exterior  by  a 
canal  which  opens  on  the  upper  surface  of  the  body,  but  which 
in  the  Sea-slug  hangs  freely  in  the  body  cavity  and  draws  its 
water  thence.  On  the  circular  vessels  and  its  trunks  there  are 
swellings  or  sacs  with  contractile  walls,  and  it  is  by  the  action 
of  these  that  the  water  is  propelled  through  the  system ;  when 
it  is  driven  into  the  tentacles  or  the  suckers  these  parts  are 
forthwith  erected. 


Fig.  2.  —  Internal  Structuee  of  a  Holothdeian.  o,  Mouth;  /,  Intestine; 
d,  Cloaca;  a,  Vent;  c,  Branched  stone-canal ;  p,  Polian  vesicle  ;  rr.  Lungs; 
»•',  their  point  of  insertion  into  the  Cloaca ;  ?«,  Longitudinal  muscle.  (From 
Gegenbaur,  '  Comparative  Anatomy,'  Bell's  translation,  p.  215.) 

The  intestine  is  looped  and  opens  by  a  vent  at  the  end  of  the 
body  opposite  to  the  mouth ;  its  walls  are  exceedingly  delicate, 
and  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  contents  are  often  sandy  and 
gravelly,  or  composed  of  calcareous  debris,  they  are  frequently 


found  to  be  broken  in  preserved  or  dissected  specimens.  When 
irritated  or  alarmed  a  Sea-slug  ejects  its  intestines,  but  by  no 
means  dies  on  account  of  this  apparently  suicidal  act ;  just  like 
all  other  Echinoderms  it  possesses  a  power  of  repair  amply 
sufficient  to  make  up  for  even  the  most  remarkable  acts  of 

In  Cucumarin,  and  in  a  large  number  of  Holothurians,  there 
are  connected  with  the  cloaca,  into  which  the  intestine  opens,  a 
pair  of  elaborately  and  exquisitely  branched  delicate  tubes  which 
extend  far  forwards  into  the  body ;  into  these  water  passes  from 
the  exterior  and  is  again  driven  out ;  as  this  supply  of  fresh 
water  brings  with  it  oxygen,  and  as  this  oxygen  is  only  separated 
by  a  thin  wall  from  the  carbonic  acid  gas  in  the  body  cavity  an 
exchange  of  gases  is  effected — the  water  giving  up  its  fresh 
oxj^gen,  and  taking  away  the  carbonic  acid  or  waste  product;* 
owing  to  this  respiratory  function  the  branched  tubes  are  called 

There  is  only  one  other  organ  of  the  Sea-slug  to  which  refer- 
ence need  be  made  here,  and  it  also  is  connected  with  the  walls 
of  the  cloaca ;  it  consists  of  a  system  of  blind  tubes  which  may 
be  very  small  or  very  large  in  number,  and  may  form  a  compact 
mass,  be  branched,  or  whorled  in  arrangement.  These  tubes, 
which  we  know  by  the  indifferent  name  of  Cuvierian  organs,  have 
had  very  various  functions  ascribed  to  them  at  different  times ; 
it  is  now  certain  that,  as  shall  be  shown  later  on,  Prof.  Samper's 
supposition  that  they  were  organs  of  offence  is  correct. 

Slight  as  our  knowledge  of  Holothurian  organisation  is  from 
this  sketch,  it  is  sufficient  to  enable  us  to  understand  the 
principles  on  which  the  group  is  classified;  to  the  consideration 
of  its  arrangement  we  will,  therefore,  now  proceed,  taking  on 
our  way  opportunities  of  saying  a  few  words  about  the  more 
interesting  examples  which  are  to  be  found  in  our  own  seas. 

If  we  start  with  such  a  typical  form  as  the  Cncumaria  which 
has  formed  the  basis  of  the  preceding  account,  we  find  we  have 
had  to  do  with  an  elongated  animal  whose  body  is  divided  by 
five  rays  into  five  parts,  that  the  suckers  are  confined  to  the 
rays,  that  there  are  five  pairs  of  tentacles,  and  scattered  spicules 

-■■  Compare  "  Some  of  the  Ways  in  which  Animals  Breathe,"  Zool.  1886, 
pp.  3Uo— 318. 


in  the  integument ;    there  are  five  retractor  muscles  for   the 
tentacles,  and  branched  lungs. 

Several  species  of  Cacumaria  are  found  in  the  British  Seas, 
but  one  only  is  of  large  size  ;  that  is  the  sausage-shaped  creature 
which  E.  Forbes  called  the  Great  Sea-cucumber  {Cucumaria 
frondosa)  and  the  Tangle  Sea-cucumber  (C  fucicola),  in  his 
well-known  work,  these  being  synonymous  terms.  This  species 
has  been  found  as  far  north  as  Greenland,  and  lives  in  North 
American  as  well  as  North  European  waters.  Dr.  William 
Stimpson,  the  well-known  American  naturalist,  states  that  it 
makes  very  palatable  soup. 

The  first  change  from  the  typical  Cacumaria  is  seen  in  the 
modification  of  the  tentacles,  one  pair  of  which  becomes  smaller 
than  the  other  four ;  this  is  to  be  observed  in  some  species  of 
Cucumaria  itself.  The  next  step  is  the  scattering  of  the  suckers, 
which  are  no  longer  confined  to  the  lines  of  the  rays,  but 
distributed  apparently  irregularly  over  the  whole  of  the  body ; 
this  also  is  found  in  what  some  naturalists  still  call  Cucumaria, 
though  Dr.  Lampert  the  author  of  a  recent  monograph  of  the 
group,  has  proposed  for  such  Sea-cucumbers  the  new  generic 
term  of  Semperia*  —  a  name  given,  it  need  hardly  be  said, 
in  honour  of  the  distinguished  professor  of  Wiirzburg,  who 
during  his  now  classical  travels  in  the  Philippines  devoted  much 
attention  to  the  Holothurians ;  in  our  own  seas  the  common 
Thy  one  {Thy  one  impillosa)  is  an  excellent  example  of  a  form  in 
which  the  suckers  are  scattered  over  the  whole  body,  or  take  on 
what  systematists  call  a  sporadipod  arrangement. 

In  another  set  of  forms  the  integument  becomes  very  heavily 
armed  with  calcareous  plates,  and  the  body  is  consequently 
always  of  the  same  form,  and  not  variable  like  the  Great  Sea- 
cucumber.  The  Sea-girkin  {Genus  lacteus  and  0.  hrunneus  of 
Forbes  being  synonymous  terms)  is  one  good  example  of  this ; 
another  is  presented  by  the  Snail  Sea-cucumbers  (members  of 
the  genus  Psolus),  though  here  the  species  vary  a  good  deal  in 
the  extent  of  their  armature,  the  circumpolar  P.  fahricii  being 
much  richer  in  large  plates  than  the  P.  phantapus  which  is 
found  in  our  own   seas.      Another   remarkable    peculiarity  in 

■■'  New,  that  is,  for  Holothurians ;  it  has  long  been  used  amongst 
Mollusca,  and  if  the  generic  division  be  allowed  to  stand,  it  must  be  altered 
for  Echinoderms. 



Psohs  is  the  fact  that  the  suckers  are  confined  to  the  lower 
(trivial)  surface,  and  that  the  movement  of  the  creature  is, 
therefore,  in  a  way  comjDarable  to  that  of  the  snail. 

We  may  now  pass  to  another  group  in  which  lungs  are  like- 
wise found,  but  in  which  there  are  no  special  retractor  muscles 
for  the  tentacles,  and  these  organs,  instead  of  being  branched  as 
in  Ciicumaria  (the  Dendrochirotae),  are  stouter  and  shield-shaped 
(Asj)idochirot8e).  The  best  known  genus  of  this  group  is  Holo- 
thuria,  of  which,  though  there  are  a  large  number  of  species, 
only  two  are  to  be  found  in  the  British  Seas ;  H.  intestmalis  has 
only  been  dredged  in  the  Minch,  and  H.  nigra  is  found  in  the 
English  Channel  off  the  coasts  of  Devonshire  and  Cornwall. 

It  is  to  the  latter  species — which  has  various  local  names, 
but  is  best  known  as  the  "  Nigger"  or  the  "  Cotton-spinner" — 
that  we  owe  our  certainty  as  to  the  function  of  the  Cuvierian 
organs.  Holothuria  nigra  has  been  called  the  Cotton-spinner 
from  its  habit  of  shooting  out  from  its  hinder  end  white  tubes 
which  swell  up  in  the  sea-water,  and  become  exceedingly  sticky, 
so  that  an  object — such  as  a  crab — which  becomes  covered 
with  them  finds  it  exceedingly  difficult  to  set  itself  free.  This 
pernicious  habit  causes  this  Sea-slug  to  be  held  in  great  detes- 
tation by  fishermen.  The  tubes  may  be  drawn  out  to  twelve 
times  their  own  length,  and  at  the  same  time  they  swell  up  to 
seven  times  their  original  diameter ;  six  of  these  tubes,  drawn 
out  to  be  so  thin  as  to  be  scarcely  visible,  are  sufficient  to  hold 
up  a  weight  of  nearly  1000  grains.  It  is  easy  to  understand  the 
effect  such  powerful,  tenacious,  and  extensile  threads  must  have 
on  any  object  which  they  attack. 

While  all  these  forms  are  provided  both  with  feet  and  with 
lungs  there  are  other  Holothurians  which  depart  more  widely 
from  the  Cucumarian  type ;  in  some  lungs,  but  no  suckers,  are 
developed,  and  in  others  neither  lungs  nor  suckers,  either  radial 
or  scattered,  are  to  be  found.  Of  the  former  of  these  two  groups, 
of  which  Molpadia  may  be  taken  as  an  example,  we  have  no 
representatives  in  our  own  seas ;  of  the  latter  there  are  two 
which  are  well  known — Si/najJta  inhcerens  and  S.  digitata.  At 
first  sight  these  creatures  appear  to  be  very  different  from  our 
typical  Cucumaria,  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  quinqueradiate 
symmetry  is  no  longer  marked  by  the  tube-feet  externally  or 
their  vessels  internally,  so  that  they  appear  as  bilaterally  sym- 


metrical  as  many  worms ;  they  still,  however,  have  calcareous 
deposits  in  their  integument;  Chirodota,  an  allied  genus,  having 
little  rounded  structures  which  look  like  toothed  wheels,  and 
Synapta,  having  fenestrated  plates  to  which  a  projecting  anchor- 
shaped  spicule  is  attached  ;  it  is  to  the  projecting  ends  of  these 
anchors  that  the  skin  of  Synapta  owes  its  peculiar  roughness. 
Though  larger  than  Chirodota,  Synajyta  never  reaches  in  our 
own  seas  to  the  size  of  more  than  a  few  inches,  but  in  the 
tropical  seas  the  species  of  this  genus  may  attain  to  a  great 
length,  being  even  as  much  as  seven  feet  long.  Synapta  is 
remarkable  among  Echinoderms  for  having  the  sexes  united. 

A  group  of  curiously  modified  Holothurians  have  been  made 
known  by  the  recent  explorations  in  deep  water,  but  as  the 
Elasipoda  are  confined  to  great  depths,  and  an  enumeration  of 
their  characteristics  would  obscure  these  leading  facts  in  Holo- 
thurian  organisation  which  it  is  the  purpose  of  this  paper  to 
describe,  we  must  postpone  any  notice  of  them  to  another 

During  the  last  few  months  some  of  the  more  leading  types 
of  Holothurians  have  been  set  out  in  spirit  for  exhibition  in  the 
Starfish  Gallery  of  the  British  Museum  (Natural  History). 
What  are  to  be  seen  there  are  such  forms  as  every  reader  of 
'  The  Zoologist '  ought  to  know  a  little  about,  but  they  do  not, 
of  course,  give  any  idea  of  the  extent  of  the  National  Collection 
of  these  animals.  Comparatively  rich  as  that  collection  is, 
it  is  certain  that  it  still  wants  a  number  of  described  forms,  and 
that  there  are  still  many  Holothurians  in  the  sea  which  have 
never  yet  been  named  or  described.  If  this  little  paper  should 
excite  the  interest  of  any  reader  in  these  instructive  and  incom- 
pletely known  animals  he  may  give  a  proof  thereof  by  devoting 
his  leisure  to  their  collection ;  in  justice,  however,  it  must  be 
said  that  the  appearance  of  his  preserved  specimens  will  not 
give  the  brilliant  results  that  fall  to  the  collector  of  birds  or 
insects.  Holothurians  have  an  irritating  way  of  ejecting  their 
viscera  or  of  breaking  to  pieces  ;  the  best  way,  therefore,  to  kill 
and  preserve  them  is  to  plunge  them  at  once  into  spirit ;  before 
the  specimens  are  packed  oft'  and  sent  to  the  Museum  it  is  well 
to  completely  change  this  spirit,  as  it  soon  becomes  weakened 
by  the  quantity  of  water  in  the  Sea-slug's  body. 



IN    1886. 
By  Robert  Gray. 

[The  following  notes,  which  I  hope  ma}-  prove  of  some  interest  to  your 
readers,  have  been  extracted  from  my  journal  of  tlie  voyage  of  tlie  s.  s. 
'Eclipse'  of  Peterhead,  David  Gray,  Master,  to  the  Greenland  Wliale 
Fishery  last  season.  I  may  state  here  that  in  former  years  the  '  Eclipse' 
had  left  Peterhead  regularly  for  the  Greenland  Seal  and  Whale  Fisliery 
early  in  March  ;  but  tlie  small  number  of  Seals  obtained  during  the  last 
few  years  at  the  Seal-fishing,  and  the  low  price  to  which  Seal-oil  had  fallen, 
rendered  the  chance  of  obtaining  a  sufficient  number  of  Seals  to  defray  the 
additional  expense  incurred  in  their  capture  so  uncertain  as  to  cause  the 
owners  to  delay  the  vessel's  departure  to  the  date  mentioned  below,  sending 
her  out  therefore  with  the  intention  of  prosecuthig  the  Whale-fishing  alone. 
— R.  G.l 

Leaving  Peterhead  on  April  20th,  the  'Eclipse'  the  day 
following  arrived  at  Lerwick.  While  here  fifteen  Shetland  men 
were  shipped  to  complete  our  crew  of  fifty-five  hands  all  told. 
Sundry  preparations  being  completed,  on  the  forenoon  of  the 
22nd  the  'Eclipse'  got  under  way,  and  before  the  sun  set  the 
lofty  cliffs  of  Noss  faded  dimly  in  the  distance  astern. 

The  23rd  saw  us  well  clear  of  land  ;  already  we  noticed  with 
interest  unmistakable  signs  of  our  advance  to  the  northward. 
Seventy  miles  N.  of  Lambaness  the  first  Mallemokes,  Procellaria 
glacialis,  were  seen ;  some  thirty  miles  further  north  several  schools 
of  Bottle-nose  Whales,  Hyperooclon  rostratus.  They  appeared  to 
be  feeding — not  on  their  northward  journey,  as  we  have  noticed 
them  year  after  year  in  the  same  latitude,  some  six  weeks  earlier 
in  the  season.  Also  a  few  Kittiwakes,  Rissa  tridactyla,  and 
Gannets,  S^lla  hassana,  were  noticed,  and  just  before  dark  a 
small  bird,  believed  to  be  a  Snow-flake,  Plectrophanes  nivalis, 
was  seen  fluttering  about  the  rigging,  but  unfortunately  it  was 
not  captured  to  prove  its  identity. 

Continuing  to  steam  to  the  northward  we  experienced  remark- 
ably fine  weather  until  the  evening  of  the  2J:th,  when  the  wind 
freshened  from  the  northward,  and  the  sea  began  to  rise.  In  the 
evening  a  few  Bottle-nose  Whales  were  seen  going  southwards, 
and  at  the  same  time  a  Killer  Whale,  Orca  gladiator,  easily 
recognised  by  the  height  of  its  dorsal  fin,    pursuing   a   similar 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    'ECLIPSE.'  49 

direction.  The  wind  continued  adverse  throughout  the  35th,  so 
that  we  made  but  little  progress.  Some  Porpoises,  Phoccsna 
communis,  were  seen  in  the  afternoon,  the  first  I  had  seen  so  far 
north  :  I  apprehend  therefore  that  they  were  beyond  the  northern 
limit  of  their  range.* 

On  the  26th  and  27th  we  had  light  head-winds  with  frequent 
showers  of  snow.  Crossed  the  Arctic  Circle  on  the  latter  date, 
and  noticed  the  first  Looms,  Alca  arra,  and  Rotches,  Mergulus 
alle ;  also  a  few  Bottle-nose  Whales  and  one  large  Finner,  most 
probably  Balcenoptera  sihhaldu.  On  the  evening  of  the  28th  the 
brightness  of  the  northern  sky  indicated  our  approach  to  the  ice, 
and  as  we  advanced  towards  it  the  teiuperature  of  the  water,  which 
had  previously  stood  for  some  time  at  39°,  began  to  fall,  slowly 
at  first,  more  rapidly  afterwards,  until  it  stood  at  29°  F.,  when  we 
were  within  half  a  mile  of  the  ice  itself.  The  "  West  Ice,"  as  it 
is  called  by  the  whalers,  lying  along  the  east  coast  of  Greenland, 
northwards  from  Cape  Farewell,  renders  its  shores  ice-bound 
throughout  the  entire  year,  and  thus  limits  the  extent  of  open 
water  to  the  westward.  Our  position  being  lat.  70°  U' N.  and 
long.  2°  23'  W.,  the  position  of  the  ice-edge  this  season  may  be 
considered  normal.  Schools  of  Bottle-nose  Whales  seen  in  the 
afternoon,  and  at  midnight  we  watched  two  large  Finners  playing 
about  the  ice-edge.  By  their  bluish  grey  colour  and  by  the 
diminutive  size  of  tlieir  dorsal  fins  I  at  once  recognised  the  B.  sib- 
bcddii.  I  will  embrace  this  opportunity  of  correcting  a  state- 
ment in  the  '  Arctic  Voyages  of  A.  E.  Nordenskiold'  (p.  52).  The 
author  says  :  — "  It  is  probable  that  '  Finners'  never  live  in  colder 
water  than  2-5°  C.  (=  36-9°  F.),  and  that  the  northern  limit  of 
their  distribution  coincides  with  sea  of  this  temperature."  It  is 
a  fact  well  known,  to  those  on  board  the  'Eclipse'  at  least,  that 
this  whale  {Balcenoptera  sibbalclii)  is  found  in  water  quite  as 
cold  as  any  other,  BalcBiia  mysticetus  not  excepted,  I  have  seen 
it  in  water  below  32°  quite  as  often  as  above  it,  and  the  reader  by 
referring  to  the  Table  appended  will  see  how  often  the  tem- 
perature of  the  water  was  below  36°,  and  how  often  above  it  on 
the  days  in  which  it  is  mentioned.  Hereafter  I  hope  to  show  that 
its  northern  distribution,  instead  of  being  restricted  to  a  line  of 
temperature   at   once    arbitrary   and  unreasonable    agrees  more 

*  For  latitudes  aud  longitudes,  temperatures,  &c.,  see  Table  appended. 


nearly  with  the  southern  distribution  of  Balana  mysticetus,  and  as 
the  vanguard  of  the  latter  retreats  to  the  northward  the  vanguard 
of  B.  sibbaldii  advances  to  occupy  the  ground  left  vacant. 

Having  now  reached  the  ice,  it  remained  for  us  to  proceed 
northwards  towards  the  whaling  ground ;  but  as  some  time  yet 
remained  before  we  could  expect  to  see  whales,  we  hoped  to  pick 
up  a  few  old  Saddle  Seals,  Phoca  groenlandica,  on  our  way  north, 
and  for  tliis  purpose  the  examination  of  each  successive  point  of 
ice  was  commenced.  By  way  of  explanation,  I  may  state  that  in 
the  month  of  March,  the  Saddle  Seals,  male  and  female,  come 
from  the  northward  and  southward,  along  the  ice-edge,  and, 
owing  apparently  to  the  formation  of  the  latter,  they  converge 
towards  a  great  point  of  ice,  which  in  a  normal  season  lies  along 
the  73rd  parallel  of  latitude,  and  runs  out  beyond  the  meridian  of 
Greenwich.  Here  meeting,  the  united  body  of  seals  direct  their 
course  inwards,  until  ice  is  found  suitable  for  their  purpose 
They  now  take  the  ice,  and  soon  afterwards  the  young  seals 
are  born.  On  the  3rd  of  April,  at  what  might  be  called  a 
critical  period  in  the  history  of  the  seal,  the  close-time  ends,  the 
sealers  are  at  liberty  to  kill  them,  and  before  the  creatures 
are  many  days  old  the  whole  "  pack  "  is  generally  slaughtered 
before  their  mother's  eyes.  And  what  for  nearly  two  hundred 
years  has  proved  a  sure  and  certain  source  of  annual  wealth,  the 
support  of  an  extensive  industry,  is — unless  legislation  comes 
speedily  to  its  rescue — doomed  to  almost  complete  annihilation, 
by  the  greedy,  short-sightedness  of  man.  Towards  the  end  of 
April  the  few  young  Saddle  Seals  which  have  escaped  this  waste- 
ful destruction,  having  cast  their  snow-white  fur,  and  assumed 
instead  a  coat  of  steel-blue  hair,  marked  over  with  small  dark 
spots,  are  now  able  to  provide  for  themselves.  Abandoned  to 
their  own  resources,  the  "  spots "  as  they  are  called,  betake 
themselves  towards  the  sea,  and  dispersing  along  the  ice-edge  are 
seen,  alas  !  too  infrequently !  lying  on  the  small  outlying  pieces 
of  ice  near  the  pack  edge,  enjoying  the  bright  sunshine,  and  the 
warmth  of  the  summer  air.  Before  the  young  seals  have  taken 
to  the  water,  the  males  commence  seeking  the  females  ;  pairing 
having  taken  place,  all  the  old  Saddle  Seals  abandon  tlie  locality, 
and,  dividing  into  droves  or  herds,  disperse  both  north  and 
south  along  the  ice  edge.  Selecting  the  outlying  "  streams  "  and 
'•  points,"  the  old  seals  again  take  tbe  ice,  and  the  hunting  of 

VOYAGE    OF   THE    '  ECLIPSE.'  51 

them  constitutes  the  "  Old  Saddle  Sealing."  A  good  man,v 
"  Finners,"  B.  sibbaldii,  were  seen  on  the  29th,  and  many  Looms 
flying  eastward,  as  we  afterwards  discovered,  for  the  next  point  of 
ice.  A  few  "  spots"  (young  Saddle  Seals)  were  seen  on  the  30th, 
and  one  Great  Skua,  Stercorarius  catarrhactes,  was  for  some  time 
seen  following  in  the  ship's  wake.  This  is  only  the  second  bird 
of  this  species  of  Skua  I  have  seen  in  these  seas  during  the  last 
four  seasons. 

May  1st.  "  Finner  Whales,"  B.  sibbaldii,  numerous  in  the 
evening.  Having  crossed  a  deep  bight,  May  2nd  found  us 
at  another  point  in  lat.  75°  1'  N.,  long.  0°  42'  W.  Continuing 
our  way  northward,  the  same  evening  we  passed  a  Norwegian 
steamer,  lying  amongst  the  ice,  engaged  in  sealing.  On  the 
morning  of  the  3rd  a  patch  of  old  Saddle  Seals  was  discovered, 
numbering  about  5000  :  they  were  scattered  over  a  strip  of  ice 
some  three  miles  in  length  by  one  in  breadth:  as  many  as  fifty 
seals  might  have  been  collected  on  one  single  piece  of  ice.  The 
boats,  eight  in  number,  were  manned  and  sent  away.  Every  shot 
drove  hundreds  off  the  ice,  and  in  a  remarkably  short  time  the 
whole  herd  was  driven  into  the  water.  After  going  a  few  miles  to 
the  northward  they  again  went  on  to  the  ice  in  considerable 
numbers ;  their  coats,  however,  not  having  had  time  to  dry 
before  they  were  again  attacked,  they  required  even  less  per- 
suasion than  before  to  return  to  their  watery  element.  A  heavy 
swell  amongst  the  ice  made  shooting  difficult,  and  kept  the  seals 
continually  awake.  All  day  they  continued  howling  and  screech- 
ing in  the  most  melancholy  manner,  the  sure  and  certain  sign, 
the  seamen  said,  of  bad  weather.  Having  bagged  some  120 
seals,  the  boats  returned  on  board,  and  we  made  sail  and  pro- 
ceeded nortliwards.  One  Narwlial  seen;  Snow-birds,  Larus 
eburneus,  and  Burgomasters,  Larus  glaucus,  numerous  as  these 
birds  always  are  when  seals  are  in  the  neighbourhood. 

A  heavy  gale  from  the  N.E.,  with  showers  of  snow,  blew  on 
the  6th ;  having  found  shelter  under  lee  of  a  point  of  ice,  we  lay 
comfortably  under  storm  canvas.  During  the  afternoon  a  small 
bird  was  noticed  fluttering  about  the  rigging ;  some  time  after- 
wards it  was  seen  crouching  under  lee  of  the  weather  bulwarks, 
its  feathers  puffed  out  to  their  full  extent ;  latterly  it  found  its 
way  underneath  the  forecastle-head,  where,  protected  from  the 
inclemency  of  the  weather,  it  soon  fell  into  its  last  long  sleep. 


On  examining  it  I  found  it  to  be  a  Wheatear,  Saxicola  oenanthe. 
Ouv  position  was  lat.  77°  N.,  long.  1°  W.  Numbers  of  old 
Saddle  Seals  were  seen  coming  from  the  S.E.  on  the  6th, 
undoubtedly  having  been  washed  oif  an  outlying  "  stream,"  and 
now  returning  to  the  main  ice.  On  the  7th,  the  s.s.  "  Hope,"  of 
Peterhead,  spoke  us.  We  learnt  from  Capt.  J.  Gray,  that  the 
young  Saddle  Seal  fishing  had  proved  a  complete  failure.  Com- 
paratively fine  weather  was  experienced  until  March  25tli,  when 
the  weather  changing  for  the  worse,  a  succession  of  heavy  north- 
easterly gales  set  in.  Several  of  the  Norwegian  vessels  were  almost 
ashore  on  Jan  May  en,  and  one  Scotch  vessel,  the  'Polar  Star,'  was 
driven  as  far  south  as  Iceland  (a  distance  of  400  miles),  where  she 
narrowly  escaped  being  wrecked.  The  strong  winds  had  also  the 
efi^ect  of  separating  tlie  ice,  and  necessarily  also  of  dividing  the 
seals  into  a  number  of  separate  patches.  Owing  to  the  severity 
of  the  weather  the  ships  were  unable  to  lower  their  boats  until 
the  7th  of  April.  The  consequence  was  that  the  young  seals 
were  older  than  usual  before  being  killed,  and  therefore  in  better 
condition.  The  seals  were  found  in  lat.  74°  N.,  long.  2°  E., 
at  the  extremity  of  the  "  point "  already  referred  to,  a  few 
miles  from  the  sea.  Twenty-one  Norwegians  and  three  Scotch 
vessels  were  present,  the  former  captured  about  31,600,  the 
latter  about  4500  "  white  coats  "  (young  Saddle  Seals), 
besides  these,  a  few  old  Saddle  Seals  were  captured,  perhaps 
4000.  In  round  numbers,  the  twenty-four  vessels  present  cap- 
tured a  total  of  40,000  seals,  old  and  young,  an  average  of  1600 
per  ship,  certainly  quite  insufficient  to  pay  expenses,  and 
undoubtedly  the  poorest  young  Saddle  Sealing  as  yet  recorded. 

Towards  the  evening  of  the  8th  the  weather  moderated  suffi- 
ciently to  allow  us  to  proceed.  After  "  fishing  "  several  patclies 
of  seals  which  we  discovered  on  our  way  north,  the  I4tli  found  us 
in  lat.  78°  approaching  whaling-ground.  On  the  11th,  amongst  a 
patch  of  seals,  a  young  Saddle  was  noticed  lying  on  the  ice,  still 
wearing  its  snow-white  coat.  By  the  lotli,  after  several  days 
work,  the  necessary  preparations  for  whaling  were  completed. 
600  fathoms  (=  1,200  yards)  of  line  were  carefully  coiled  into 
each  boat,  harpoons  were  spliced  on  to  the  lines,  harpoon  guns 
fixed  in  the  boat  bows,  &c.  The  day  following  we  spoke  the 
s.s.  'Erik,'  of  Peterhead.     Capt.  A.  Gray  reported  having  been 

VOYAGE    OP    THE    '  ECLIPSE.'  53 

north  in  whaling-ground    since  April  25th;    on  April  30th  one 
wbale  was  seen  (exceptionally  early),  but  no  others  since  then. 

The  North  Greenland  whaling-ground  lies  to  the  northward 
of  the  75th  parallel,  to  the  westward  of  a  line  running  obliquely 
north  eastward,  from  the  intersection  of  the  latitude  mentioned. 
by  the  meridian  of  Greenwich,  to  Amsterdam  Island  off  the 
west  coast  of  Spitzbergen.  In  the  area  whose  south-eastern 
limits  have  been  described,  the  margin  of  the  Greenland  west  ice 
lies.  Its  sinuous  outhne  presents  a  succession  of  points  and 
bays,  outlying  "  streams  "  and  deep  recesses.  Among  these  the 
Greenland  Right  Whale  makes  its  appearance  about  the  middle 
of  May,  coming  apparently  from  the  S.W.  They  appear  to  come 
up  through  the  very  heart  of  the  Greenland  ice,  finding  breathing 
room  in  the  lanes  and  open  spaces  of  water,  which  are  continually 
breaking  out  and  closing  again  amongst  tbe  floes,  perchance 
occasionally  finding  sporting-room  in  some  large  "polynia," 
far  removed  from  the  sea.  Diverted  apparently  from  their 
northern  course  by  encountering  a  close  barrier  of  ice,  running 
obliquely  across  their  path  as  they  advance  northwards,  they 
are  gradually  forced  to  the  eastwai'd,  until  reaching  lat.  78°  they 
make  their  appearance  at  the  sea  edge.  Here  they  resort  during 
a  variable  period,  from  a  month  to  six  weeks  or  even  less,  in  the 
months  of  May  and  June.  Owing  apparently  to  the  opening  of 
the  obstruction  referred  to,  they  leave  as  suddenly  as  they  made 
their  appearance,  are  last  seen  going  N.W.,  and  the  North 
Greenland  whaling  is  over  for  the  season. 

After  working  north-eastward  along  the  margin  of  the  ice,  on 
the  evening  of  the  18th  our  further  progress  northward  was  pre- 
vented by  a  sudden  alteration  in  the  line  of  the  ice-edge ; 
hitherto  its  direction  had  been  about  N.E.,  now  it  run  eastwards 
for  some  distance,  then  taking  a  sweep  to  the  S.E.  it  ran  in  upon 
the  north-west  coast  of  Spitzbergen.  The  ice  lying  east  and 
west,  forming  the  angle  just  referred  to,  is  known  as  the 
"  barrier,"  its  origin  being  believed  to  be  distinct  from  that  of  the 
west  ice.  Certainly  its  position  remains  almost  unchanged 
throughout  the  season,  and  northerly  winds  have  but  little 
power  in  opening  out  its  southern  face.  Most  probably  this  ice 
owes  its  position  to  an  easterly  current,  which  carries  it  west- 
ward along  the  southern  shores  of  Franz  Joseph  Land,  round 


the  north    end  of    Spitzbergen,  and  hence   into  the  Greenland 

Easterly  winds  having  prevailed  the  ice  was  exceedingly  tight, 
and  there  was  that    want  of   outlying    "  points "  and    sheltered 
"  bights "  which  forebodes  a  bad   season.     Narwhals  were  very 
numerous,  flocks  of  Looms  and  Botches  were  flying  hither  and 
thither,    Snow-birds    and    Burgomasters   were    flying   overhead. 
Mallemokes  followed  in   our    wake.      No   whales    making  their 
appearance  at  the  "  barrier,"  accompanied  by  the  '  Erik '  and  the 
'  Polar  Star,'  we  took  advantage  of   a  northerly  wind  and  ran 
south  to  try  our  luck  in  the  next  "  bight."     On  the  morning  of 
the   i9th,  while  lying  becalmed  a  few  miles  off  the  ice-edge,   a 
whale  suddenly  made  its  appearance   alongside  the  '  Erik,'  and 
her  boats  took  it.     The  colour  of  the    water    was    grass-green. 
Looms  were  very  numerous.     At  noon  of  the  same  day,  a  breeze 
springing  up   from  the   S.E.,   and   the  ice    being    slack  to  the 
westward,  we  made  sail  and  ran  through  it.     Towards  evening 
the  wind  increased  to  the  force  of   a  gale,  and  next  morning, 
after  having  ran  N.W.  for  about  fifty  miles,  we  tacked  at  the  edge 
of  the  "  fast  ice,"  consisting  of  hard  packed  floes,  then  lay.    The 
wind  died  away  about  noon  and  thick  fog  set  in;  at  night   a 
strong  breeze  sprang  up  from  the  westward,  and  clearing  the  fog 
away   we   found    ourselves   lying   in   an    open    space    of    water, 
circular  in  shape,  some  ten  miles  in  diameter ;  the  ice  appeared 
to  have  completely  closed  behind  us  to  the  eastward  ;  large  floes 
were  lying  in  sight  to  the  westward.     The  colour  of  the  water 
still  continued  grass-green,  and  contained  abundance  of  whales' 
food,  chiefly  Calanus  Finmarckicus.     On  the  21st  a  small  whale 
made  its  appearance,  evidently  coming  from  the  S.E.,  and  was 
captured  by  the  *  Polar  Star." 

The  westerly  wind  continuing,  it  began  to  tell  on  the  tightness 
of  the  ice  to  the  westward.  A  vast  expanse  of  open  water  had 
broken  out  amongst  the  floes,  and  our  room  becoming  somewhat 
circumscribed,  after  some  trouble  we  succeeded  in  entering  it. 
The  water,  clear  and  cerulean,  contained  no  life ;  not  even  a  bird 
was  to  be  seen. 

*  Might  I  suggest  that  the  wi-eckage  of  the  'Jeanuette,'  United  States 
Exploring  Vessel,  found  on  an  ice-floe,  near  Juhanhaab,  South  Greenland, 
came  by  this  route,  rather  than  by  a  north-western.— See  'Nature,'  December 
4th,  1884. 

VOYAGE    OP    THE    '  ECLIPSE.'  65 

Against  strong  northerly  winds  we  now  commenced  to  work 
our  way  back  again  to  the  "  barrier."  On  the  24th,  while  plying 
northwards  against  a  strong  breeze,  a  short  sharp  sea  or  heavy 
"  wind-lipper"  running,  a  whale  was  discovered  about  a  hundred 
yards  from  the  ship,  apparently  lying  asleep — a  black  object 
resembling  in  size  and  shape  a  fisherman's  buoy  was  all  that 
appeared  water.  Perfectly  motionless,  it  had  no  apparent 
inclination  to  rise  to  the  sea,  the  short  sharp  waves  washing  freely 
over  it.  On  the  nearer  approach  of  the  ship,  apparently  awakened 
by  the  noise,  it  first  rose  fully  six  feet  above  the  water,  then  sank 
quickly  out  of  sight.  At  the  distance  of  only  a  few  yards  I  easily 
recognised  it  as  the  upper  jaw  of  a  Greenland  Eight  Whale,  and 
that  part  which  originally  attracted  attention  must  therefors  have 
been  the  tip  of  the  animal's  nose.  When,  where,  and  how  the 
whales  sleep  is  an  interesting  question  which  I  do  not  jjropose 
discussing  here  :  certainly  it  is  a  rare  occurrence  to  see  one  asleep 
at  the  surface,  especially  in  stormy  weather.  An  anxious  look-out 
was  kept  for  two  hours  afterwards,  without  anything  further 
being  seen. 

Reaching  lat.  80°  on  the  26th,  the  ice  was  found  to  have 
undergone  a  remarkable  change  for  the  better,  floes  and  fields 
were  lying  about  quite  unbroken  in  the  sea.  The  same  evening 
a  whale  was  seen,  which  we  succeeded  in  capturing.  Falling 
over  on  its  side  during  its  death-struggle,  it  bent  its  body 
forwards  until  its  caudal  extremity  was  within  some  twenty  feet  of 
its  chin.  While  in  this  strange  position  it  spun  round  the  centre 
of  a  circle,  of  which  its  body  lay  along  by  far  the  greater  part  of 
its  circumference.  In  addition  to  the  particulars  regarding  the 
capture,  size,  &c.,  of  this  and  the  other  whales  we  captured,  to  be 
found  in  a  Table  appended,  I  may  state  that  the  tail  of  this  one 
measured,  transversely,  17  ft.  6  in. ;  antero-posteriorly  along  the 
median  line  5  ft. ;  and  that  the  smallest  girth  of  the  rump, 
5  ft.  6  in.,  was  obtained  at  the  anterior  commencement  of  the 
lobes  of  the  tail. 

During  the  following  week  we  captured  five  whales ;  of  these 
the  smallest  was  that  killed  on  May  28th.  In  proportion  to  its 
length  —  about  30  ft.  —  its  head  seemed  remarkably  short, 
certainly  not  more  than  one-fourth  of  the  entire  length;  its  skin 
was  decidedly  bluish  black,  almost  azure-blue.  Including  those 
which  we  captured,  we  saw  perhaps  twenty  whales,  nearly  all  of 
small    size.       Except    coming    out    below    the   ice,   feeding   and 


returning  again,  they  seemed  to  be  going  in  no  particular 
direction.  Strong  gales  prevailed  from  the  northward ;  often 
the  boats  were  quite  unable  to  pull  to  windward,  and  sometimes 
had  even  difficulty  in  living  in  the  short  sharp  sea.  Imagine, 
therefore,  the  additional  difficulty  and  danger  of  harpooning 
and  lancing  whales  to  keeping  a  boat  above  water  in  such 
weather.  Frequent  snow-storms  and  stinging  frost  made  four  or 
five  hours  in  an  open  boat  none  the  less  uncomfortable  under 
such  circumstances.  The  water,  grass-green  in  colour,  sometimes 
thick  and  obscure,  sometimes  clear  and  transparent,  contained 
abundance  of  surface  life,  Calanus  finmarchicus  being  as  usual 
by  far  the  most  abundant — next,  perhaps,  Clio  horealis.  Birds 
(principally  Looms  and  Rotches),  Narwhals  and  Floe-rats  {Phoca 
hispida)  were  numerous. 

Whether  going  to  windward  or  to  leeward  it  was  observed 
that  whales,  when  amongst  much  sea,  invariably  appeared  heading 
to  leeward,  apparently  by  interposing  their  backs  between  their 
spiracles  and  the  sea,  preventing  the  access  of  water  into  their 
lungs  during  inspiration.  In  this  our  boats  were  more  than 
once  deceived,  for  several  times,  when  pulling  to  leeward  after  a 
whale,  which  had  dived  heading  in  that  direction,  they  wei'e 
somewhat  disgusted  to  find  that,  on  its  next  appearance  it  was 
considerably  to  windward  of  its  former  position.  In  former 
voyages  I  have  a  distinct  recollection  of  chasing  whales  to 
windward  against  a  short  sharp  head-sea ;  once,  at  least,  while 
personally  taking  a  leading  part  in  the  pursuit,  several  times  as 
an  onlooker,  the  observation  I  made  on  these  occasions  was,  that 
every  time  the  whale  appeared  at  the  surface,  invariably  turning 
away  from  its  path,  it  described  a  circle  of  no  great  extent,  and 
on  coming  round  again  to  its  old  course  would  continue  swimming 
to  windward.  What  appeared  to  me  then  a  most  eccentric-like 
evolution  I  am  now  of  opinion  was  performed  for  the  very  same 
reason  as  on  the  occasions  already  mentioned,  vis.,  to  prevent  the 
access  of  water  to  the  lungs  during  inspiration.  The  spiracles 
are  semilunar  openings  about  12  in.  long,  placed  longitudinally  on 
the  very  summit  of  the  head  or  crown,  having  their  convexities 
turned  towards  one  another  and  the  mesial  plane,  their  posterior 
extremities  farther  apart  than  their  anterior,  which  are  situated 
within  4  in.  of  one  another.     These  oxjenings  can  be  opened  and 



closed  at  pleasure,  muscular  effort,  apparently,  pulling  their  convex 
outer  borders  away  from  the  mesial  plane  and  their  inner  concave 
borders.  These  muscles  relaxing,  the  spiracles  close  by  the 
approximation  of  their  own  walls,  and  thus  during  sleep  they  are 
seen  closed,  and  after  death  (post  mortem  rigidity  having  ceased) 
the  spiracles  are  found  rigidly  closed. 

In  the  following  Table  will  be  found  the  position  of  the  s.  s. 
'  Eclipse,'  the  surface  temperature  of  the  sea,  and  the  temperature 
of  air,  at  noon,  on  the  different  days  on  which  any  event  of 
zoological  interest  is  recorded  as  having  occurred : — 


April  23 
„  24 
„  25 
„  26 
„  27 
„  28 
„  29 

Ship's  Position. 


62°  14'  N. 
64°  38' 
64°  49' 
66°  5' 
67°  55' 
70°  14' 
71°  54' 
72°  38' 
74°  20' 
76°  38' 






79°  24' 

0°  25'  W. 
2°  33'  E. 
1°  53'  W. 
2°  23' 
2°  34' 


4°  20'  E. 
4°    6' 

2°    0' 
2°    2' 


Surface  of  Sea. 

47°  Fh. 
















48°  Fh. 

(To  be  continued.) 



By     Montagu     Brown  k,    F.Z.S. 
Curator,  Town  Museum,  Leicester. 

(Concluded  from  Zool.  18S6,  p.  415.) 

Class  Eeptilia. 
Order  Saijria. — Fam.  Lacertid^. 

Lacerta  agilis,  Linn.    Sand  Lizard. — Harley  writes  : — "  This 
species  is  liable  to  much  variation  in  colour.     It  has  been  met 

ZOOLOGIST.— FEB.  1887.  F 


with  of  a  pale  greenish  yellow,  with  the  back  of  an  umber-brown 
colour  ;  others  of  a  darker  hue,  and  others  again  variegated  with 
black  spots  down  the  centre  of  the  back.  It  is  of  limited  distri- 
bution in  the  county,  being  mainly  confined  to  Charnwood  Forest 
and  the  adjacent  woodlands." 

Lacerta  Tivipara,  Jacq.  Common  Lizard ;  "  Scaly  Lizard," 
"  Viviparous  Lizard." —  Occurs  generally  in  most  parts  of  the 
county,  and  is  common  about  Charnwood.  Harley  was  informed 
by  a  correspondent  that  he  had  occasionally  seen  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood a  species  of  Lizard  which  affected  the  leaves  of 
brambles  and  other  plants,  its  habits  being  described  as  similar 
to  those  of  a  Chameleon,  especially  when  basking  in  the  sun  or 
intent  on  feeding ;  but  it  is  well  known  that  this  is  a  common 
habit  with  Lacerta  rivijmra,  and  probably  with  most  Lizards. 

Fam.  SciNciD^. 

Angnis  fragilis,  Linn.  Blind-worm ;  "  Slow-worm." — Eesi- 
dent  and  commonly  distributed.  There  are  specimens  in  the 
Museum  at  Leicester  from  Bradgate  and  Bardon  Hill. 

Order  Ophidia. — Fam.  Colubrid^. 

Tropidonotus  natrxx  (Linn.).  Common  Snake ;  "  Einged 
Snake." — Eesident  and  commonly  distributed.  A  large  female 
specimen  in  the  Leicester  Museum  measures  a  little  over  three 
feet.     [We  have  seen  one  over  five  feet. — Ed.] 

Fam.  ViPERiDiE. 

Vrpcra  hcrus,  Ijmn.  Viper;  "Adder." — Eesident  and  gene- 
rally distributed,  but  not  so  common,  fortunately,  as  its  harmless 
relative.  Harley  remarks,  under  date  1846: — "  Pclias  hcrus 
and  Culuher  natrix  were  abroad  very  early  this  season,  viz.  during 
the  first  and  second  week  of  March.  On  the  13th  and  14th  of 
that  mouth  we  noted  both  reptiles  in  Bradgate  Park.  There  are 
specimens  in  the  Museum  from  many  localities  in  the  county, 
all  of  the  dark  variety. 

Class  Batrachia. 

The  following  are  all  resident  and  generally  distributed  : — 
liana  tcmporaria,  Linn.;  Common  Frog.  Bufo  vulgaris,  Laur. ; 
Common  Toad.       Mulge  cristata  (Laur.) ;    Great  Warty  Newt ; 


"  Warty  Eft,"  "  Effet."     Molcfe  vulgaris  (Linn.) ;   Smooth  Newt ; 
"  Common  E£fet,"  "  Asker." 

Class  Pisces. 
Order  Ganoidei. — Fam.  Acipenserid^. 
Acipenser  sturio,  Linn.;  Sturgeon.  —  A  rare  straggler  of 
accidental  occm-rence.  Harley  says  a  specimen  was  taken  in 
the  Soar,  below  Loughborough,  but  gives  no  date.  Some  few 
years  ago  a  small  specimen  was  taken  in  the  little  Kiver  Smite 
near  to  Belvoir. 

Order  Acanthopterygii. — Fam.  Percid^. 
Percaflnviatilis,  Linn.  Perch. — Commonly  distributed.  In 
the  Leicester  Museum  there  is  a  cast  of  a  specimen  taken  at 
Saddington  by  Mr.  J.  Benskin  which  weighed  about  three  pounds. 
On  July  19th,  1886,  Mr.  Smith  presented  one  to  the  Museum 
taken  at  Aylestone  which  weighed  two  pounds  two  ounces.  At 
Thornton,  where  it  abounds,  I  have  taken  several  specimens  with 
blunt  heads  or  rounded  noses,  evidently  a  malformation,  which 
appears,  however,  persistent. 

Fam.  CoTTiD^. 
Cottus  (jobio,  Linn.      Miller's-thumb  ;    "  Bull-head."— Com- 
monly distributed. 

Fam.  Gasterosteid-^. 
Gasterosteus    aculeatus,     Linn.      Three-spined     Stickleback, 
"Eobin,"    "Soldier,"    "Jack  Bannel,"  "Tittle-bat,"  "  Stuts." 
G.pungitius,  Linn.    Ten-spined  Stickleback,  "Tinker." — Both 
commonly  distributed. 

Order  Anacanthini. — Fam.  GADiDiE. 
Lota    vulgaris,    Cuv.      Burbot;     "  Burbolt,"    "Eel-pout."— 
Pare.     It  has  been  occasionally  taken  in  the  Soar  about  Keg- 
worth  ;   and  Harley  saw  one  taken  in  an  eel-net  at  Zouch  Mills, 
near  Loughborough. 

Order  Physostomi. — Fam.  Cyprinid^. 
Cyprimis  carpio,  Linn.      Carp.  —  Not  uncommon  in  pools 
such  as  those  of  Groby  and  Saddington. 

Barhus  vulgaris,  Flem.     Barbel.— Occurs  occasionally  in  the 


Soar,  near  its  junction  with   the  Trent  and  Derwent,   and  is 
frequently  caught  below  Loughborough. 

Gohio  fluviatilis,  Flem,  Gudgeon. — Common  in  the  Soar, 
and  in  various  parts  of  the  county.  The  largest  I  have  seen 
have  been  taken  at  Thornton  Eeservoir. 

Leuciscus  rutibis  (Linn.).  Eoach. —  Commonly  distributed. 
In  the  Leicester  Museum  there  is  a  cast  of  a  specimen,  taken  in 
Narborough  waters,  which  turned  the  scale  at  two  pounds. 

L.  cephalus  (Linn.).  Chub. — Generally  distributed,  attaining 
a  good  size.  A  specimen,  weighing  five  pounds  two  ounces  and 
a  half,  taken  in  the  River  Soar  at  Narborough  by  Mr.  T.  Lumb, 
Feb.  27th,  1883,  and  another  weighing  five  pounds  and  half  an 
ounce,  taken  at  the  same  place  and  by  the  same  angler,  Feb.  6th, 
1885,  are  in  the  Leicester  Museum.  Another  taken  at  Aylestone, 
Feb.  6th,  1883,  by  Mr.  A.  Smith,  weighed  four  pounds  and  a  half. 

L.  vulgaris,  Flem.  Dace.  —  Generally  distributed  in  sharp 
streams — "backwaters"  of  the  rivers.  A  specimen  weighing 
twelve  ounces  was  taken  by  Mr.  W.  Benskin  in  the  Soar  near 

L.  erythrojnhahmis  (Linn.).  Eudd ;  "Eed-eye."— Occasionally 
met  with  in  the  Soar. 

L.  phoxinus  (Linn.).     Minnow. — Commonly  distributed. 

Tinea  vulgaris,  Cuv.     Tench. — Not  very  common. 

Abramis  bramayhinu.  Common  Bream  ;  "  Yellow  Bream." — 
Commonly  distributed  in  the  Soar,  where,  at  Kegworth,  I  have 
seen  many  large-sized  fish.  One  taken  in  this  river  weighed 
seven  pounds. 

A.  blicca,  Bl.  White  Bream;  "  Bream-fiat."— Occurs  in  the 
Soar  and  Trent. 

Alhurnus  lucid  us,  Hiickel.     Bleak. — Widely  diffused. 

Ncmadiilus  barbatulus  (Linn.).  Loach;  "Bearded  Loach," 
"  Stone  Loach." — Generally  distributed. 

Colitis  tcenia,  Linn.  Spined  Loach  ;  "  Groundling." — Locally 
distributed.  Has  been  met  with  in  the  Soar  and  Wreake.  I  took 
a  specimen  in  a  small  stream  at  Aylestone  on  April  14th,  1883. 

Fam.  EsociD^. 
Esox  Indus,  Linn.     Pike. — Commonly  distributed,  attaining 
a  large  size  in  ponds  such  as  those  of  Bosworth,  Saddington,  and 
Naseby.     In  1811  Harley  saw  a  brace  of  Pike,  taken  in  a  pond 


at  Leisliley,  the  property  of  Mr.  March  Phillips,  each  of  which 
weighed  twenty-five  pounds.  I  saw  one  weighing  twenty-six 
pounds,  which  was  captured  in  April,  1869,  in  Bosworth  Pool. 
The  MS.  Donation  Book  at  the  Leicester  Museum  records, 
August  20th,  1872,  the  capture  of  one  at  Barrow-on-Soar,  which 
weighed  seventeen  pounds  and  three-quarters,  and  measured 
three  feet  six  inches  in  length.  It  was  presented  to  the  Museum 
by  Mr.  Noble,  of  Barrow. 

Fam.  Salmonid^. 

Salmo  salar,  Linn.  Salmon. — Harley  writes,  "  Found  com- 
monly in  the  Trent  and  Derwent  at  their  confluence ;  in  the 
Soar  about  Kegworth,  and  near  Loughborough."  At  present, 
however,  it  must  be  regarded  as  rare,  although  I  heard  of  one 
taken  at  Eatcliffe  Lock,  in  1883,  which  was  said  to  have  weighed 
twenty-six  pounds. 

Salmo  fario,  Linn.  Common  Trout;  "Brook  Trout." — 
Sparingly  distributed  in  the  county.  At  Bradgate,  where  it  is 
strictly  j)reserved,  it  is  abundant,  and  attains  a  good  size. 

Thymallus  vulgaris,  Nilss.  Grayling.  — "  Appears  to  be 
limited  to  the  Soar  and  its  confluence  with  the  Trent." — Harley. 

Fam.  MuR^NiD^. 
Anguilla  vulgaris,    Flem.,    Eel;    and   A.  latirostris,   Broad- 
nosed  Eel.     Both  commonly  distributed. 


Petromyzon  fliwiatilis,  Linn.,  Lampern,  "  River  Lamprey"  ; 
and  P.  branchiaUs,  Linn.,  Small  Lampern,  "  Pride."  Both 
sparingly  found  in  some  of  the  streams  of  the  county. 

By  thi<;  Rt.  Hon.  Lord,  F.Z  S. 

Prompted  by  your  remarks  in  the  last  number  of  '  The 
Zoologist,'  and  by  the  excellent  plate  of  the  Greater  Horse-shoe 
Bat,  I  venture  to  offer  to  your  readers  a  few  notes  on  those 
species  of  the  order  Cheiroptera  which  I  have  met  with  in  the 
European  region.  I  may  mention  that  I  took  up  the  study  of 
Bats  in  the  summer  of  1870,  and  in  a  few  days  discovered  that 


five  species  are  tolerably  abundant  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Lilford,  and  that  at  least  two  more,  which  I  have  not  been  able 
satisfactorily  to  identify,  are  occasionally  to  be  met  with  in  the 
northern  division  of  Northamptonshire.  I  have  no  work  of 
reference  at  hand  except  Lord  Clermont's  '  Guide  to  the  Quadru- 
peds and  Eeptiles  of  Europe,'  so  I  adopt  his  arrangement  and 
nomenclature.  From  the  habits  of  the  European  Bats  a  close 
study  of  the  animals  in  their  natural  state  is  almost  impossible, 
but  to  my  mind  most  attractive  ;  I  have  no  pretence  to  any 
special  knowledge  on  the  subject,  and  my  only  object  in  thus 
addressing  you  is  the  hope  that  my  notes  may  induce  some  of 
your  readers  to  turn  their  attention  to  this  comparatively  little- 
known  branch  of  Zoolog}',  and  give  us  the  result  of  their 
experiences  in  your  Journal.  To  those  who  have  as  yet  paid  no 
attention  to  Bats,  it  may  be  useful  to  mention  Dr.  Dobson's 
exhaustive  British  Museum  Catalogue  of  the  Cheiroptera  as  the 
standard  English  work  on  the  subject. 

During  my  visit  to  Cyprus  in  the  spring  of  1875  I  was 
informed  by  a  fellow-countryman,  who  had  resided  for  some 
years  in  the  island,  that  a  considerable  amount  of  damage  to 
fruit  was  there  done  by  some  large  Bats :  in  spite  of  some  search 
in  likely  localities  we  did  not  succeed  in  finding  any  of  these 
animals  during  our  five  weeks'  stay  on  the  coasts  of  Cyprus  ;  but 
a  collector,  whom  I  sent  out  shortly  after  the  British  occupation 
of  the  island,  sent  me  some  thirty  specimens  of  Cynonycteris 
collaris  in  spirits.  It  is  somewhat  remarkable  that  the  fruit- 
eating  Bat  of  Cyprus  should  be  of  a  different  species  to  that  of 
Egypt  and  Palestine,  C.  (egyptiacus.  I  believe  that  I  am  correct 
in  stating  that  till  the  receipt  of  these  Collared  Fruit-Bats  from 
Cyprus,  the  species  had  not  been  recorded  from  any  locality 
nearer  home  than  S.  Africa.  The  Zoological  Society  have  for 
many  years  past  had  more  or  less  of  this  species  alive  in  the 
monkey-house  in  the  Eegent's  Park,  where  one  or  more  young 
ones  have  been  produced  every  year  since  1870.  I  have  a  pair 
of  these  animals  at  Lilford ;  they  are  very  tame,  exceedingly 
cleanly  in  their  habits,  and  seem  to  thrive  upon  almost  any  sort 
of  fruit,  Avith  a  decided  preference  for  dates,  bananas,  grapes, 
and  cherries. 

Dysoprs  RiippeUi,  Temm. — The  only  specimen  of  this  very 
curious  species  that  1  have  ever  seen  alive  was  brought  to  me  in 

A   FEW    WORDS    ON    EUROPEAN    BATS.  63 

Seville,  in  April,  1872,  by  a  man  who  said  that  he  found  it 
clinging  to  the  old  brickwork  of  an  aqueduct  just  outside  the  city 
wall  on  the  road  to  Alcala  de  Guadaira.  I  have  received  speci- 
mens from  Genoa,  and  have  reason  to  believe  that  it  is  by  no 
means  very  uncommon  in  many  parts  of  Italy  and  Sicily.  I 
found  it  in  the  Museum  of  Palermo,  and  was  informed  that  it 
was  not  rare  in  that  neighbourhood. 

Rhinolophusferriim-equinnm,  Bonap.  Faun.  Ital.  — I  procured 
a  few  of  this  species  alive  from  some  sea-caves  near  Syracuse,  in 
the  spring  of  1874.  It  is  common  in  most  parts  of  Italy,  and, 
as  far  as  my  own  observation  goes,  prefers  caves  or  buildings  to 
hollow  trees.  In  England  it  is  by  no  means  abundant.  In  Spain 
it  is  extremely  local,  and  not  very  common. 

lihinolophus  eitryale,  Blasius. — This  species,  intermediate  in 
size  between  the  Greater  and  Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bats,  I  met  with 
in  Andalusia  in  tolerable  abundance,  and  procured  many  speci- 
mens in  Sicily  from  small  caverns  and  fissures  in  ancient 
quarries.  The  fur  of  this  species  is  of  a  lighter  colour  than 
that  of  either  of  the  other  two  European  Horse-shoe  Bats,  and 
lacks  the  rufous  tinge  which  is  generally  to  be  observed  in  those 

Rhinolophus  bihastatus,  Desm.* — I  have  received  specimens  of 
this  Bat  from  South  Devon,  where  I  believe  it  to  be  much  more 
common  than  is  generally  supposed.  It  abounds  in  Southern 
Spain,  Sicily,  and  the  neighbourhood  of  Algiers,  in  all  which 
localities  I  have  met  with  it  hanging  in  clusters  in  caves  and  old 
buildings.  The  Horse-shoe  Bats  appear  to  be  very  savage  and 
pugnacious,  and  other  species  are  seldom  to  be  met  with  in 
company  with  them.  The  flight  of  this  genus  is  somewhat  weak 
and  fluttering,  as  compared  with  that  of  most  European  members 
of  the  order. 

Vespertilio  noctula,  Desm. — This  species,  the  largest  of  our 
British  Bats,  is  common  in  Northamptonshire,  inhabiting  the 
cavities  of  old  ash,  elm,  and  beech  trees  in  colonies  of  from  six 
to  upwards  of  twenty.  It  flies  high,  often  out  of  gunshot  range, 
and  is  seldom  to  be  seen  on  wing  after  the  end  of  August.     The 

*  The  Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat.  According  to  Dr.  Dobson  this  should 
stand  as  Rhinolophus  hijpposideros,  Bechstein,  Naturg.  Deutschl.  p.  1194 
(1801) ;  Bhutolophus  bihastatus,  Geoffrey,  Descript.  de  I'Egypte,  li.  p.  132 
(1812).— Ed. 


presence  of  these  animals  has  often  been  betrayed  to  us  by  a 
constant  twittering  squeak  issuing  from  holes  in  our  old  trees. 
I  am  inclined  to  think  that  many  Woodpeckers,  Starlings,  and 
other  hole-breeding  birds  are  ousted  from  their  homes  by  these 
Bats.  In  spite  of  many  attempts  I  never  could  succeed  in 
getting  a  Noctule  to  take  food  of  any  sort  in  a  cage  or  box. 
I  have  found  this  Bat  in  every  part  of  Spain  that  I  have  visited. 

Vespertilio  murinus,  Desm. — This  Bat,  whose  claim  to  rank 
as  a  British  species  is,  I  believe,  founded  on  the  occurrence  of  a 
solitary  individual  in  the  precincts  of  the  British  Museum  many 
years  ago,  is  recorded  as  very  common  in  France  and  Germany. 
The  only  living  specimens  that  I  have  handled  were  one  taken 
in  a  ruined  house  near  Seville,  and  another  brought  to  me,  with 
some  himdreds  of  another  species,  from  a  cave  near  Syracuse. 
A  friend,  whom  I  had  asked  to  look  out  for  Bats  for  me,  wrote 
from  Aix-les-Bains  that  he  saw  several  thereabouts,  "  nearly  as 
big  as  Woodcocks"  ;  and  when  I  was  subsequently  at  that  place 
I  saw  two  or  three  very  large  Bats  that  were  certainly  not 
Noctules,  and  must,  I  think,  have  belonged  to  this  species ; 
unless  this  was  the  case,  I  cannot  speak  positively  as  to  having 
seen  this  Bat  on  the  wing.  This  animal  is,  in  my  opinion,  one 
of  the  most  repulsive  in  appearance  and  odour  of  the  Bat 
family,  being  generally  mangy  in  coat,  and  covered  with  para- 
sites, from  which,  indeed,  few  of  the  European  Bats  are  ever 
completely  free. 

Vespertilio  Nattereri,  Desm. — This  species,  though  apparently 
very  local,  is  by  no  means  uncommon  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Lilford ;  as  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  ascertain  it  seldom  hunts 
for  food  at  more  than  a  few  hundred  yards  distance  from  its 
diurnal  retreats,  though  it  is  a  comparatively  strong  flyer.  I 
shot  one  on  wing  many  years  ago  on  the  road  in  the  village  of 
Achurch,  and,  though  I  then  knew  nothing  about  Bats,  noticed 
that  it  was  a  very  different  animal  from  the  three  species  that 
swarm  around  the  house  at  Lilford  in  the  summer  evenings ; 
in  1870,  when  I  began  to  collect  Bats,  I  was  told  by  our  old 
fisherman,  a  native  of  Achurch,  that  whilst  smoking  his  evening 
pipe  at  his  cottage  door  he  had  often  seen  many  Bats  emerge 
from  a  crack  in  the  stonework  below  the  chimney  of  his  nearest 
neighbour's  abode ;  I  asked  him  to  try  and  catch  some  of  them, 
and  he  brought  me  some  twenty  of  this  species  a  day  or  two  after 

A   FEW   WORDS    ON   EUROPEAN    BATS.  65 

making  the  announcement ;  this  was  early  in  July,  and  a  short 
time  afterwards  I  received  several  more  of  the  same  species  from 
under  the  roof  of  Pilton  Church,  which  is  a  short  quarter  of  a 
mile  from  Lilford.  I  tried  in  vain  to  keep  some  of  these  Bats 
alive,  and  sent  two  of  them  to  the  Eegent's  Park  Zoological 
Gardens  ;  but  they  all  declined  to  feed,  three  or  four  of  mine  died, 
and  were  placed  in  spirits,  and  I  liberated  the  survivors  after  a 
few  days'  captivity.  I  never  met  with  Natterer's  Bat  anywhere 
but  in  the  two  localities  above-mentioned ;  it  is  said  to  occur  in 
Belgium,  Eastern  France,  Germany,  and  other  parts  of  Central 
and  Eastern  Europe. 

Vespertilio  serotinus,  Desm. — Although  I  have  never  been  able 
hitherto  to  obtain  the  Serotine  in  Northamptonshire,  I  feel 
certain  that  it  occurs  occasionally  near  Lilford ;  but  as  its  mode 
of  flight,  general  coloration,  and  make,  very  much  resemble  those 
of  the  Noctule,  to  which  species  adult  specimens  approach  in  the 
extent  of  wings,  it  is  of  course  impossible  to  speak  positively 
without  having  handled  and  examined  a  freshly-killed  specimen. 
I  have  received  specimens  of  this  Bat  from  Sussex  and  Hampshire, 
and  found  it  to  be  common  in  various  parts  of  France  and  Central 
Spain.  The  Serotine,  as  far  as  my  own  observation  goes,  appears 
addicted  to  hollow  trees  in  preference  to  caves  or  buildings.  I 
saw  some  fifty  or  more  of  this  species  in  a  cage  at  the  Jardin  des 
Plantes  in  1867,  and  was  assured  that  they  had  been  taken  from 
old  trees  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Paris  by  wood-cutters.  In 
many  parts  of  Eastern  Germany  this  Bat  appears  to  be  common. 
It  flies  high,  and  is  very  fast  on  wing. 

Vespertilio  Schreibersii,  Desm.  —  Many  of  this  species  were 
brought  to  me  alive  from  the  caves  and  quarries  near  Syracuse 
in  April,  1874,  and  I  knocked  one  down  with  a  carriage-whip  as 
he  flew  in  bright  sunshine  near  the  well-known  Grotto  del  Cane, 
at  a  short  distance  from  Naples.  I  also  caught  four  specimens 
of  this  Bat  with  one  of  R.  eurijalc  in  a  dark  chamber  in 
Pompeii ;  this  latter  animal  was  devoured  by  the  others  as  they 
were  carried  in  a  handkerchief  from  the  exhumed  city  to  Torre 
del  Annunziata,  where  our  yacht  was  lying.  This  is  one  of  the 
most  common  Bats  in  Southern  Italy :  I  have  also  received  it 
from  Genoa,  and  it  is  abundant  in  Southern  Spain,  es^iecially  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Seville. 

Vespertilio  pipistrellus,  Desm. — This  little  animal  is  the  Com- 


men  Bat  of  our  islands,  and  abounds  in  Northamptonshire  as  in 
most  parts  of  England  with  which  I  am  acquainted.  I  have  met 
with  it  in  Spain,  and  I  think  in  Italy,  but  to  anyone  but  an 
expert  it  is  difficult  to  discriminate  this  from  the  following  species. 

Vespertilio  Kiihlii,  Temm. — Of  this  species  I  can  only  say  that, 
if  my  identification  is  correct,  I  have  found  it  not  very  abundantly 
in  Spain,  commonly  in  S.  Italy,  Sicily,  and  Corfu.  I  am  in- 
formed that  V.  rispistrellus,  Penn.,  V.  alcythbc,  and  V.  alho- 
limbatus,  Bonaparte,  are  only  synonyms  for  this  species. 

VespertUo  mi/stacinus,  Desm.  —  The  only  living  specimens  of 
this  Bat  that  I  have  ever  seen  were  three  or  four  brought  to  me 
from  the  belfry  of  Tichmarsh  Church,  Norths.,  in  1870,  and  one 
that  1 2)icked  out  of  the  Avon  below  the  bridge  at  Christchurch, 
Hants,  in  1873  ;  the  latter  little  animal  was  making  a  fairly 
strong  swim  of  it  against  a  moderate  stream.  This  so-called 
Whiskered  Bat  is  the  darkest  in  colour  of  the  British  species 
with  which  I  have  any  acquaintance. 

Plecotus  auritiis,  Geoflfroy.  —  The  Long-eared  Bat  is  exceed- 
ingly common  in  Northamptonshire,  as  in  most  parts  of  England, 
and  may  often  be  seen  flying  in  broad  daylight  and  sunshine, 
sometimes  even  in  the  depth  of  winter ;  it  seems  especially  to 
affect  the  roofs  of  summer-houses,  porches,  and  cattle-sheds ;  its 
presence  in  such  localities  is  often  betrayed  by  the  wings  of 
moths  on  the  floor  below  its  lurking-places.  This  is  the  only 
species  of  British  Bat  that  I  could  ever  succeed  in  keeping  alive 
for  any  length  of  time ;  the  two  or  three  with  which  I  made  the 
attempt  fed  greedily  upon  live  house-flies  and  other  small  winged 
insects,  taking  them  eagerly  from  our  hands  ;  but  they  refuse 
mealworms,  beetles,  and  every  sort  of  raw  meat.  During  the 
hybernation  of  these  animals  I  frequently  examined  them  very 
minutely,  and  could  not  detect  any  pulsation  whatever,  or  the 
slightest  stain  on  a  small  mirror  applied  close  to  the  nostrils  ; 
but  they  would  slowly  recover  animation  when  exposed  to  a  heat 
of  about  75°  Fahr.,  and  eat  ravenously  as  long  as  I  had  any  flies 
to  ofier  them  ;  one  of  these  Bats  lived  for  more  than  two  months 
in  a  state  of  complete  torpor  in  a  temperature  varying  from  about 
40°  to  60°,  and  eventually  flew  off  on  a  warm  morning  in  February, 
and  commenced  hawking  for  gnats  on  the  sheltered  side  of  the 
house  as  briskly  as  if  it  had  been  mid-summer. 

Barhastellus  comiimnis,  Bouap.  -I  found  this  curious-looking 


little  animal  in  great  abundance  in  a  ruined  monastery  in 
Arragon,  at  the  foot  of  the  Pyrenees,  in  the  summer  of  1867,  and 
in  smaller  numbers  in  a  similar  locality  at  Potes,  in  the  Province 
of  Santander,  in  1876.  I  have  also  met  with  it  in  Switzerland. 
This  Bat  is  generally  supposed  to  be  uncommon  in  England,  but 
although  I  have  at  present  no  positive  proof  of  the  fact,  I  strongly 
suspect  that  it  occurs  about  Lilford.  It  generally  flies  lower  than 
any  other  Bat  of  my  acquaintance,  with  a  somewhat  feeble  and 
hesitating  flight. 

In  conclusion,  I  may  mention  that,  besides  the  species 
mentioned  above  as  occurring  in  our  islands,  I  find  that  Lord 
Clermont  (on  the  authority,  as  I  suppose,  of  Thomas  Bell,  'Brit. 
Quad.')  admits  six  other  species,  viz.,  V.  Bechsteinii,  Desm.,  V. 
Leisleii,  Desm.,  V.  discolor,  Desm.,  V.  Daubentonii,  Desm.,  V. 
emarginatus,  Desm.,  and  Plecotus  hrevimanus,  Bonap.* ;  but  the 
simple  truth  is  that  very  few  English  zoologists  have  studied,  or 
at  all  events  published  the  results  of  their  studies  of  our  Bats, 
and  if  my  meagre  remarks  should  induce  any  of  your  readers  to 
turn  their  attention  to  this  subject,  I  will  hope  that  we  may 
shortly  have  the  benefit  of  "more  light." 



Young  Otters  in  August.- -On  the  Idth  August  last  I  had  two  young 
Otters  sent  nie  by  a  friend,  who  had  taken  them  the  previous  evening. 
They  were  interesting  on  account  of  their  very  tender  age,  for  I  should 
think  they  were  not  more  than  a  day  old,  if  so  much.  A  gamekeeper  said 
he  was  sure  they  had  "  seen  dayliglit "  only  a  few  hours,  which  was  an  error 
of  observation,  as  the  little  creatures  were  of  course  blind.  The  first  thins 
that  struck  me  was  their  diminutive  size,  as  they  certainly  were  no  larger 
than  an  ordinary  kitten  at  the  time  of  birth  ;  in  fact,  I  think  I  have  seen 
very  young  kittens  larger  and  more  robust  than  these  tiny  Otters  wei'e,  but 
their  webbed  feet  and  thick  tail  were  characteristics  not  to  be  overlooked 

■■'■  Plecotus  brevimanus,  Jeuyns,  is  now  generally  admitted  to  be  merely 
the  3'Oiing  of  Plecotus  auritiis,  Liuna;us.  The  nomenclature  here  adopted 
from  Lord  Clermont's  '  Guide  to  the  Quadrupeds  and  Iteptiles  of  Europe' 
(1859)  stands  in  need  of  considerable  revision,  and  cannot  be  regarded  as 
axtthoritative  at  the  present  day. — Ed. 


They  were  of  an  uniform  grey  colour,  and  in  this  respect  very  unlike  older 
individuals.  They  were  deposited  underneath  some  planks  forming  part 
of  the  floor  of  a  boat-house,  to  which  the  female  gained  entrance  by 
burrowing  under  the  water  into  the  bank,  and  then  working  upwards,  as 
I  believe  is  their  usual  wont.  There  was  but  little  semblance  of  a  nest, 
only  a  few  green  water-weeds  having  been  collected  together,  and  upon 
these  the  infants  were  reposing  with  their  parent,  who  stoutly  refused  to 
leave  her  tender  charge,  and  with  a  maternal  courage  which  certainly 
deserved  a  better  fate  forfeited  her  life  in  their  defence.  Is  August  the 
usual  time  for  young  Otters,  and  are  there  usually  two  at  a  birth? 
[Young  Otters  have  been  found  in  almost  every  montli  of  the  year. — Ed.] 
My  friend  informed  me  that  indications  of  the  presence  of  Otters  near  the 
boat-house — by  partly  devoured  fish — were  abundantly  evident  for  a  long  time 
previous  to  the  capture  of  the  above;  and  it  is  gratifying  to  all  who  take 
an  interest  in  our  comparatively  few  British  wild  quadrupeds  tliat  Otters 
are  far  from  rare  about  the  Hampshire  Avon,  and  they  naturally  frequent 
those  parts  of  the  river  where  fish-preservation  offers  them  the  best  chance 
of  livelihood  with  the  least  amount  of  labour.  I  was  not  aware  of  the  fact 
that  Otters  will  kill  and  devour  Wild  Ducks  when  in  the  "flapper"  state. 
Is  it  well  known? — G.  B.  Corbin  (Ringwood).  [We  have  heeard  on  good 
authority  of  their  lulling  and  eeting  Moorhens  and  also  Water-rats. — Ed.] 
Weasels  killing  Moles. — Apropos  of  the  question  whether  Stoats  and 
Weasels  kill  Moles  (Zool.  1886,  p.  450),  I  came  upon  the  following  note  in 
*  The  B'ield '  of  May  1st,  1886,  .which  may  perhaps  be  worth  reprinting  as 
bearing  on  the  question.  Mr.  H.  H.  Simpson,  of  Bowdon,  Cheshire, 
writes: — "In  'The  Field'  of  April  24th  a  correspondent  mentions  the 
capture  of  a  Weasel  in  a  mole-trap,  and  asks  whether  it  is  a  common  thing 
for  Weasels  to  hunt  Moles.  As  there  seems  to  be  some  doubt  whether 
Weasels  actually  prey  upon  Moles  or  not,  I  may  mention  that  I  saw  a 
Weasel  run  across  the  road  near  here  carrying  a  Mole  in  its  mouth, 
apparently  with  the  greatest  ease,  for  its  head  was  held  up  high,  and  the 
Mole  was  quite  clear  of  the  ground.  The  Weasel  with  its  burden  dis- 
appeared down  a  hole,  where  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  Mole 
would  be  made  a  meal  of."  Another  instance  of  a  Weasel  having  been 
seen  in  the  act  of  carrying  a  Mole  was  previously  recorded  in  the  same 
paper,  July  9tb,  1881.  In  this  case  the  Mole  was  picked  up  by  the  person 
who  witnessed  the  occurrence,  and  who  shot  the  Weasel  and  had  both 
animals  stuffed.  On  the  7th  May  last  my  brother  told  me  that  he 
had  a  few  days  before  found  a  young  Weasel  in  a  large  mole-hill  in 
some  marshes  at  Leiston.  It  was  apparently  only  just  born,  and  he  thinks 
it  must  have  been  the  first  of  a  litter,  and  that  the  mother,  disturbed  by  his 
dog,  probably  escaped  through  some  of  the  holes  or  runs  of  the  Mole. — 
G.  T.  liuPK  (Bia.vball,  Suffolk). 


Bats  in  Winter. — It  is  not  uncommon  on  mild  sunny  days  in  winter 
to  see  the  Pipistrelle,  Vespertiiio  pipistrellus,  flying  about  during  mid-day; 
but  until  the  2nd  January  inst.,  in  Surrey,  I  never  saw  one  out  with  the 
ground  covered  with  snow  and  the  thermometer  at  the  time  below  freezing- 
point.  There  was  a  bright  sun  shining  at  the  time,  about  noon,  and  I  only 
saw  the  Bat  fly  round  some  three  or  four  times. — L.  H.  Irby  (Wadenhoe, 

Dormouse  in  a  Woodpecker's  Nest. — On  the  25th  June  last  I  was 
surprised  to  find  a  Dormouse's  nest  in  an  old  Woodpecker's  hole  in  an  oak. 
I  had  examined  the  hole  not  long  before  and  found  nothing  in  it,  and  when 
I  saw  pieces  of  dry  grass  I  thought  a  Starling  had  taken  possession  ;  but 
on  my  poking  with  a  bit  of  wire  the  two  Dormice  came  out  and  ran  up  the 
trunk  at  a  great  pace.  1  often  find  their  nests  here  in  bushes, — F.  H. 
BiRLEV  (Dorman's  Land,  East  Grinstead). 


The  Mediterranean  Black-headed  Gull  on  the  Norfolk  Coast.— Ou 
the  26th  December  last  an  adult  specimen  of  Larus  melanocephulus,  a  male 
by  dissection,  was  shot  on  Breydon  Harbour,  near  Yarmouth,  and  wus 
brought  to  me  about  an  hour  afterwards.  At  first  JI  did  notj  recognise 
the  species,  but  its  white  wings,  with  only  the  outer  primary  edged 
with  black,  its  deep  umber-brown  legs  and  feet,  and  stout  bill,  con- 
vinced me  that  I  had  a  rarity.  On  consulting  the  fourth  edition  of 
Yarrell's  'British  Birds,'  Mr.  Howard  Saunders'  excellent  description 
(vol.  iii.  p.  605)  showed  me  that  the  specimen  in  question  was  the  ^Jediter- 
ranean  Black-headed  Gull.  It  was  examined  in  the  flesh  by  Mr.  J.  H. 
Gurney,  jun.,  Mr.  Thomas  Southwell,  and  Major  Feildeu.  I  believe  that 
this  is  the  first  proprely  authenticated  specimen  which  has  been  procured 
ill  Great  Britain,  and  I  am  glad  that  such  an  addition  to  the  British 
Avifauna  should  have  occurred  in  this  county. — Geokge  Smith  (Great 

[This  bird  was  exhibited  by  Mr  Howard  Saunders  at  a  meeting  of  the 
Zoological  Society  on  ihe  18th  Januaiy  last. — Ed.] 

Lesser  Redpoll  nesting  in  Surrey. — On  the  20th  May,  about  two 
mi'es  from  lieigate,  I  came  across  two  pairs  of  Lesser  Redpolls  in  a  clump 
of  willows  Tliey  were  much  agitated,  and  soon  betrayed  the  cause  of  their 
distress  by  clustering  to  a  nest  which  contained  one  egg.  It  was  placed  in 
the  fork  of  a  willow  about  six  feet  fr^m  the  ground.  I  think  ther  are  not 
many  recorded  instances  of  these  birds  breeding  in  Surrey. — F.  H.  Birley 
(Dorman's  Land,  East  Grinstead). 

Variety  of  the  Wild  Duck. —  On  December  10th  I  shot  a  pretty 
and  curious  variety  of  tlie  Wild  Duck,  Anas  boscas,  from  a  pond  in  the 


park  here.  The  bird  was  a  male,  and  had  been  seen  about  the  park  for 
several  days,  in  company  with  two  ducks  of  the  natural  colour.  It  had 
the  crown  and  a  large  patch  on  each  side  of  the  head  of  the  usual  colour ; 
the  rest  of  the  head  and  neck  white.  The  dark  brown  band  on  the  upper 
part  of  the  breast  was  absent,  the  ordinary  grey  colour  of  the  under  parts 
extending  to  the  neck  ;  belly,  yellowish  white  ;  back,  tail,  and  under  tail- 
coverts  of  the  usual  colour ;  a  few  white  feathers  in  the  upper  tail-coverts ; 
wings  white,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  feathers  in  one  of  them. — G.  H. 
Caton  Haigh  (Grainsby  Hall,  Great  Grimsby,  Lincolnshire). 

Waxwing  in  Aberdeenshire, — -In  a  small  garden  near  the  Luraphanan 
Railway  Station,  during  the  last  fortnight  in  December,  a  solitary  Waxwing 
was  seen  daily.  It  was  very  tame,  suffering  an  approach  within  a  few  yards, 
and  when  scared  did  not  fly  far.  It  was  feeding  voracious' y  on  the  red 
berries  of  the  Cotoneaster. —  George  Brown  (Elsick  House,  by  Stone- 
haven, Kincardineshire). 

[The  appearance  of  this  occasional  winter  visitor  is  most  uncertain  and 
irregular.  Sometimes  we  hear  of  flocks  arriving,  sometimes  a  winter  will 
pass  without  one  being  seen  or  at  least  reported.  The  last  we  heard  of 
was  seen  at  Hickling  in  January,  1884,  as  recorded  in  '  The  Zoologist'  for 
1885,  p.  55.— Ed.] 

Blue-throat  in  Norfolk— Correction  of  Error.— Allow  me  to  correct 
a  statement  in  'The  Zoologist'  for  1886.  The  Blue-throated  Warbler 
recorded,  at  p.  160,  by  Mr.  J.  H.  Gurnev,  jun.,  as  having  been  shot  by 
Mr.  G.  Hunt  on  the  Horsey  sand-hills  on  Sept.  -^Sth,  1885,  was  only  a 
female  Redstart.  It  was,  moreover,  on  the  Winterton  sand-hills  where 
Mr.  Hunt  "  wiped  my  eye"  at  this  bird  ;  we  were  both  labbit-shooting  and 
on  the  look  out  for  Blue-throats,  when  the  "fire-tail"  of  this  bird  when 
rising  attracted  my  notice.  Mr.  Hunt  shot  a  Black  Redstart  at  West 
Somm-ton  in  October,  1885,  and  on  the  19th  December,  1886,  a  female  or 
immature  male  Black  Redstart  came  into  Mr.  Bonner's  greenhouse  at  East 
Rudham,  where  it  continued  for  two  or  three  days  until  allowed  to  go 
fiee. — Maukick  C.  H.  Bird  (West  Rudham,  Norfolk). 

Harlequin  Duck  on  the  Northumbrian  Coast.— On  December  6th 
I  received  in  the  flesh  and  in  a  perfectly  fresh  condition  a  Harlequin 
Duck,  shot  on  Deo.  ^nd  off  the  coast  of  Northumberland,  near  the  Fame 
Islands.  The  correspondent  who  kindly  sent  it  to  me  tells  me  he  never  met 
with  such  a  bird  before,  and  that  there  were  three  swimming  together  close 
to  the  islands.  He  shot  them  all,  but  only  succeeded  in  getting  two  of 
them.  Probably  the  wounded  bird  became  the  prey  of  some  large  gull. 
My  specimen  is  a  young  male,  and  probably  a  bird  of  the  previous  year,  as 
the  white  patch  of  feathers  near  the  carpal  joint  of  each  wing,  the  pure 
white   spot   behind    the   eye,    tlie    stripe    on    the   neck,   and  the  chestnut 


colouring  on  the  sides  are  all  clearly  defined  ;  there  are  many  blue  feathers 
among  the  brown  on  the  back,  and  one  of  the  scapulars  on  the  right  side 
has  a  broad  white  mark  ;  the  breast  and  underparts  are  mottled  all  over  with 
pale  brown  and  dingy  white,  much  like  those  of  a  female  Pintail.  The 
eyes  were  brown,  the  beak  lead-colour;  the  legs  and  feet  yellowish  brown, 
without  the  least  tinge  of  blue.  I  believe  the  legs  and  feet  of  the  Long- 
tailed  Duck,  which  species  has  been  most  frequently  mistaken  for  the  Har- 
lequin, are  greyish  blue  in  both  sexes,  and  at  all  ages.  The  bird  was  in 
very  good  condition.  It  seems  difficult  to  account  for  a  bird  wbich  breeds 
not  uncommonly  in  Iceland  being  so  rare  a  visitor  to  Britain. — Juman 
Tuck  (St.  Mary's,  Bucknall,  Stoke-on-Trent). 

Birds  observed  in  North  Devon.— A  fine  Buzzard  was  brought  into 
Ilfracombe  about  the  middle  of  August,  having  been  trapped  on  the  borders 
of  Exmoor,  and  I  heard  that  both  this  bird  and  the  Raven  (of  which  I  saw 
recently  stuffed  examples)  were  still  found  in  some  numbers  in  that  district. 
On  the  16th,  when  on  the  Little  Hangman,  I  saw  half-a-dozen  Choughs 
flying  round  the  cliff  below  me.  Walking  up  the  East  Lynn  from  the  sea 
to  Watersmeet  I  counted  upwards  of  a  dozen  Grey  Wagtails,  but  not  one 
with  a  black  throat ;  of  Dippers  I  only  saw  two.  The  Wood  Wren  seemed 
common,  especially  in  the  oak  woods  at  Clovelly.  Stock  Doves  haunted 
the  cliff's  to  the  west  of  Ilfracombe,  and  probably  bred  in  some  likely  looking 
holes  and  fissures.  The  only  waders  I  came  across  were  four  Turnstones 
and  a  large  kock  of  Curlews  at  Braunton  Burrows  on  the  21st,  and  a 
Common  Sandpiper  at  Barnstaple  on  the  19th  ;  many,  however,  passed  over 
on  several  nights,  and  I  recognised  Whimbrels,  Redshanks,  Ringed  Plovers, 
and  Common  Sandpipers.  I  met  with  the  Cormorant  on  three  occasions; 
in  each  case  a  single  bird  and  at  widely  distant  localities.  An  adult  Gannet 
came  in  sight  on  the  morning  of  the  15th,  but  I  did  not  see  another.  When 
off  Mortehoe  one  morning  we  passed  a  large  tlock  of  Gulls  fishing,  chiefly 
Kiltiwakes,  with  a  few  Herring  Gulls  and  Lesser  Blackbacks,  the  only 
occasion  on  which  I  saw  any  number  together. — Olivek  V.  x\plin  (Great 
Bourton,  near  Banbury). 

Scarcity  of  Fieldfares.  —  My  experience  upon  the  east  coast  last 
autumn  recalls  to  my  mind  a  note  by  xMr.  J.  Young  (Zool.  1881  pp.  228), 
wherein  he  relates  that  during  the  winter  of  1883-4,  being  in  different 
parts  of  the  counties  of  Monmouth,  Gloucester,  Wilts,  Berks  and  Kent,  he 
never  saw  a  Fieldfare  or  Redwing  ;  during  the  same  period  they  were  plen- 
tiful in  North  Oxon  (Zool.  1884,  p.  339).  When  I  left  home  on  November 
15th  last.  Fieldfares  and  Redwings  were  here  in  numbers,  and  I  noticed 
them  from  the  train  all  up  the  Nene  Valley  as  tar  as  Peterborough.  In  two 
days,  at  Freistou  Shore,  Lincolnshire,  the  only  Fieldfares  noticed  were  a 
few  which  were  heard  flying  over  head  after  dark,  and  which  may  have  been 


on  migration,  and  during  three  weeks  (Nov.  I8th  to  Dec.  8th)  spent  in  dif- 
ferent parts  of  Norfolk — north  and  south — I  did  not  see  a  single  bird.  In 
Lincolnshire  I  saw  no  Redwings,  and  in  Norfolk  only  two  or  three 
on  Nov.  19th,  and  a  soliitary  bird  just  over  the  Suffolk  boundary  a  fortnight 
later.  On  returning  to  Oxon  I  found  both  species  abundant,  and  though 
their  numbers  have  diminished  with  the  severe  weather  they  have 
remained  up  to  the  time  of  writing.  Perhaps  the  big  hawthorn  hedges 
of  Oxon  and  North  Hants  are  the  attraction  in  these  counties. — Oliver 
V.  Aplin  (Great  Bourton,  near  Banbury). 

Curlew  Sandpiper  and  Spotted  Crake  in  Shetland. — A  specimen  of 
this  bird  (Triivja  subarquata)  was  shot  by  Andrew  John  Garriock  on  the 
lltli  August  last,  in  a  meadow  on  Tingwall  parish.  It  was  in  company 
with  several  snipe,  feeding  among  the  high  grass,  and  seemed  very  shy  and 
uneasy  in  its  movements.  The  only  recorded  instance  of  the  previous 
occurrence  of  this  species  in  Shetland  is  by  Dr.  Sa.\by,  who  states  that 
"  one  was  brought  to  him  by  a  fisherman  in  the  Island  of  Unst,  on  June 
7th,  1859."  I  have  also  a  Spotted  Crake  [Crex  porzana)  shot  by  the  same 
person  in  the  Island  of  Bressay,  on  October  7th  last.  So  far  as  I  know 
this  is  the  first  instance  on  record  of  its  occurrence  in  Shetland.  I  have 
both  birds  now  in  my  collection. — J.  T.  Garriock  (Lerwick). 

Reported  Occurrence  of  the  Citril  Finch  near  Brighton.— In  'The 
Zoologist  '  for  December  last  (p.  490),  Mr.  Herbert  Langton  reported  the 
capture  of  the  Citril  Finch,  FringiUa  citrinella,  near  the  race-course 
at  Brighton  on  the  previous  14th  October.  A  little  correspondence  on  the 
subject  has  resulted  in  Mr.  Swaysland  of  Brighton  bringing  the  bird  to 
London  for  inspection  ;  and  on  submitting  it  to  Mr.  Sharpe,  of  the 
Natural  History  Museum,  South  Kensington,  who  has  paid  a  good  deal  of 
attention  to  Finches,  he  pronounced  it  to  be  not  the  Citril  Finch,  but  the 
Cape  Canary,  Scrhnts  canicolUs.  At  first  glance  the  two  species  are  not 
very  unlike,  and  might  be  easily  confounded  in  the  absence  of  specimens 
for  comparison.  In  fact,  both  these  birds  as,  well  as  the  wild  Canary, 
Serinus  canaria,  or  the  Serin,  Serinus  hortulanus,  have  such  a  general 
resemblance  in  size  and  colour  that  it  requires  a  practised  eye  to  discrimi- 
nate them  offhand.  As  all  four  have  been  reported  to  have  been  taken  in 
England  at  different  times,  and  may  be  again  referred  to  as  occasional 
visitants,  it  may  be  well  to  note  briefly  some  of  their  distinguishing 
characters.  The  Cape  Canary,  Serinus  canirolUs,  a  common  cage-bird, 
has  a  bill  like  the  Greenfinch,  F.  chloris,  but  smaller ;  the  forehead  and 
chin  greenish  yellow  ;  nape  and  sides  of  neck  grey ;  dorsal  plumage 
greenish  yellow;  the  outer  web  of  all  the  wing-feathers  strongly  marked 
with  the  same  colour.  The  Citril  Finch,  F.  citrinella,  in  general  coloration 
bears  a  close  reseuiblance  to  this  species,  having  hke  it  a  yellow  forehead, 


chin,  and  underparts  (though  of  a  greener  tinge),  and  a  grey  nape.  But 
the  dorsal  plumage  is  of  a  greyer  tone,  and  the  wing-feathers  not  margined 
so  vividly  with  yellow.  The  shape  of  the  bill  also  is  very  different,  being 
more  Hke  that  of  the  Goldfinch  {Cardnelis).  The  Wild  Canary,  Sorinus 
canaria,  with  a  bill  like  canicolUs,  has  none  of  the  bright  greenish  yellow 
uniformly  distributed  over  the  dorsal  plumage  (except  on  the  upper  tail- 
coverts),  and  is  of  a  much  greyer  tone,  each  feather  with  a  darker  centre  ; 
while  the  smallest  of  the  four,  the  Serin,  Serinus  hortulanus,  with  the 
shortest  and  thickest  bill  of  all  (in  proportion  to  its  size),  is  at  once 
recognizable  by  tbe  great  amount  of  striation  on  the  flanks,  us  well  as  on 
the  back  and  scapulars.  As  to  whether  the  specimen  of  Serinus  canicoUis 
recently  procured  at  Brighton  was  anything  but  an  escaped  cage-bird  (as 
seems  probable),  opinions  will  doubtless  differ;  but  it  may  be  remarked 
that  the  plumage  was  in  excellent  order,  and  showed  no  traces  of  con- 
finement.— J.   E.  Harting. 

Additions  to  the  Avifauna  of  the  Fseroe  Islands.— At  page  487  of 
'  The  Zoologist,'  1886,  I  have  recorded,  at  second-hand,  the  capture  of  the 
Little  Tern,  Sterna  minuta,  in  the  Fseroe  Islands.  Since  then  Herr  H.  C. 
Miiller,  of  Thorshavn,  has  been  kind  enough  to  send  me  the  specimen 
alluded  to,  and  I  find  that  it  is  an  immature  example  of  Hydrochelidon 
nigra,  the  Black  Tern,  so  that  the  occurrence  of  Sterna  minuta  will  have 
to  be  expunged,  but  the  Black  Tern  is  an  equally  interesting  addition ; 
this  specimen  was  obtained  on  the  island  of  Nalsae  in  the  month  of 
September,  1886.  Herr  MuUer  has  Hkewise  sent  me  specimens  of  Lams 
minutus,  the  Little  Gull,  obtained  in  the  island  of  Nalsae  on  February  11th, 
1886,  and  an  example  of  Upupa  epops,  the  Hoopoe,  which  was  shot  near 
Thorshavn  on  the  12th  October,  1885  ;  both  additions  to  the  Faeroese 
list.— H.  W,  Feilden  (West  House,  Wells,  Norfolk). 

Birds  which  Sing  or  Call  at  Night.  —  Mr.  Flemyng's  interesting 
note  headed  "  Birds  which  Sing  at  Night  "  (Zool.  1886,  p.  486),  recalls  the 
following  circumstance.  On  March  10th,  1884,  a  fine  bright  night 
just  before  the  full  moon,  and  about  the  hour  of  midnight,  I  heard  the  fol- 
lowing birds  almost  simultaneously  :  Song  Thrush,  Partridge,  Redshank 
and  Waterhen.  Owing  to  the  ignorance  and  destructive  tendencies  of 
gamekeepers,  Owls  have,  I  regret  to  say,  become  very  scarce  here,  and  in 
the  early  spring  by  far  the  noisiest  bird  we  have  at  night  is  the  Waterhen, 
whose  strange  nocturnal  habit  of  leaving  its  usual  haunts,  and  visiting 
places  where  one  would  least  expect  it  to  turn  up,  has  given  rise  at  times  to 
various  conjectures  as  to  the  origin  of  certain  mysterious  sounds  heard  in 
the  dark,  and  1  have  more  than  once  been  startled  by  suddenly  hearing 
overhead  the  loud  harsh  cry  of  this  night  wanderer  in  the  most  unlikely 
spots.  The  Norfolk  Plover  or  Stone  Curlew,  CEdicneinus  crepitans,  though 
ZOOLOGIST.  — i'EB.    1887.  G 


hardly  a  night  "  singer,"  keeps  up  while  at  its  feeding-grounds  (often  a  field 
of  young  turnips)  an  almost  continuous  screeching  through  the  hours  of 
darkness.  Much  bird  music  of  the  most  attractive  and  interesting  kind  is 
probably  unknown  to  a  great  proportion  of  mankind.  The  mighty  rush  of 
a  large  flock  of  Wigeon,  for  instance,  heard  on  a  still,  frosty  winter's  night, 
is  a  sound  which  once  heard  is  not  easily  forgotten.  The  well-trained  ear  of 
the  flight-shooter  at  his  post  on  the  lonely  marshes,  becomes  aware  of  a 
faint  and  indescribable,  but  all  pervading,  rushing  sound,  which  seems  to 
come  from  any  or  every  direction  ;  nearer  and  nearer  it  approaches,  and 
again,  perhaps,  fades  away  into  the  distance,  as  tlie  birds  turn  off'  in 
another  direction  ;  suddenly  back  they  come,  with  the  rush  of  a  whirlwind, 
and  the  beautiful  whistle,  "  whee-ou,"  of  the  mates  (before  blended  with, 
and  scarcely  distinguishable  from  the  sound  of  a  multitude  of  wings),  is 
heard  again  and  again  as  the  flock  sweeps  close  overhead  and  again  disap- 
pears into  the  darkness.  But  who  has  not  enjoyed  listening  to  the  voices 
of  our  more  familiar  birds  on  a  fine  still  evening  in  early  spring,  conveying 
to  the  ear,  as  surely  do  the  swelling  buds  to  the  eye,  unmistakable  and  ever 
welcome  tidings  and  evidence  of  the  gradual  approach  of  the  season  when 
"  the  flowers  appear  on  the  earth,  the  time  for  the  singing  of  birds  has 
come,  and  the  voice  of  the  turtle  is  heard  in  the  land."  The  distant  note 
of  the  wheeling  Peewits  on  their  return  to  their  nesting-ground  ;  nearer  as 
hand,  perhaps,  the  jubilant  evensong  of  the  Thrush;  the  weird  chattering 
and  plaintive  whistle  of  the  Starlings  on  the  topmost  twigs  of  the  tall  elms, 
wonderful  in  variety  and  execution  ;  the  occasional  note  of  deep  solemn 
bass  from  the  frogs  in  the  nearest  pool  or  ditch  :  and  above  all  the  fine 
loud  burst  of  melody  from  the  throat  of  the  Blackbird,  surely  unsurpassed 
(as  far  as  quality  of  tone  is  concerned)  by  the  Nightingale  itself,  and  in 
whose  pure  liquid  notes  the  voice  of  the  springtide  itself  seems  to  make 
itself  heard.  Such  music  fully  compensates  us  for  the  annual  loss  of  a  few 
cherries  and  currants,  and  makes  one  wish  that  "  collectors  "  and  birds'- 
nesters  were  less  abundant.— G.  T.  Rope  fBla.vhall,  Suffolk). 

Varieties  of  the  Brambling.— In  'The  Zoologist'  for  1885  (pp.  346, 
389)  were  some  notes  on  black-chinned  Bramblings.  Two  of  these  birds, 
both  having  ivhite  chins,  have  occurred  at  Yarnioulh — one  about  tlie  12th 
October,  188Q,  the  other  on  the  3rd  February,  1886.  They  both  proved  to 
bo  males,  and  present  no  variation  in  their  plumage.  This  absence  of 
colouring  seems  equally  curious  with  the  excess  of  it  in  those  vigorous 
examples  which  have  the  chin  and  throat  black.  Both  the  birds  were 
obtained  by  Mr.  G.  Smith.  Although  the  extent  of  white  is  small,  it  is 
quite  pure.  Most  birds  seem  more  liable  to  be  pied  on  the  head  than 
elsewhere,  and  in  young  Rooks  a  few  white  feathers  on  the  chin  are  not 
unubual, as  pointed  out  by  Mr.  R.  M.  Christy  (Zool.  18S0, p.  339j,  and  1  have 


seen  it  accompanied  by  white  nasal  bristles,  the  rest  of  the  plumage  being 
of  the  ordinary  colour.  The  Goldfinch  also  has  a  white  chin  sometimes, 
and  is  then  called  a  "cheverel."  Prof.  Newton  has  some  interesting 
observations  on  the  origin  of  the  name  (Yarrell's  '  British  Birds,'  4th  ed., 
vol.ii.  p.  124)  :  he  states  that  the  extent  of  white  varies  greatly  in  different 
examples  which  he  has  examined.  "  Cheverels"  in  confinement  are  stated 
to  breed  "  cheverels."— J.  H.  Gurney,  Jun.  (Northrepps,  Norwich). 

Grey  Phalaropes  in  Ireland.  -The  appearance  of  so  many  of  these 
birds  near  St.  Leonard's  last  October,  as  noted  in  '  The  Zoologist '  for 
January  (p.  28),  leads  me  to  mention  that  Mr.  Rohu  told  me  on  Oct.  90th 
last  he  had  received  a  specimen  from  Mitchelstown,  an  inland  locality  ;  and 
on  November  9th  he  mentioned  that  he  had  received  another  from  Castle- 
townsend,  on  the  West  coast  of  Cork.  On  November  18th  I  received  a 
Grey  Phalarope  from  Mr.  Higginbotham,  Dungarvan  Lighthouse.  Two 
others  are  doubtfully  reported  from  Kingstown  on  October  3rd,  not  havnig 
been  obtained.  I  believe  the  capture  of  the  Red-necked  Phalarope  in 
Ireland  has  never  yet  been  announced.- R.  J.  Usshkr  (Cappagh,  Co. 

Bittern  in  Norfolk.— I  beg  to  correct  an  error  which  appeared  in 
'  The  Zoologist '  for  December  last.  Mr.  Gunn,  in  his  "  Notes  from  Norfolk 
and  Suffolk/'  says  I  killed  a  Bittern  at  Aylsham  on  January  J 9th,  1885. 
It  occurred  at  Foulsham,  about  twelve  miles  west  of  this  place.  As  the 
visits  of  the  Bittern  are  now  unfortunately  rare,  it  is  well  to  be  accurate 
with  such  notes.  Part  of  ray  property  in  Aylsham  lies  in  the  valley  watered 
by  a  small  tributary  of  the  Bure,  and  I  should  not  like  to  have  destroyed  a 
Bittern  so  near  the  old  breeding-grounds  of  the  species,  which  if  properly 
protected  would  now  adorn  its  marshy  solitudes.  The  bird  in  question  was 
standing  by  the  side  of  a  pit  near  the  middle  of  a  grazing-ground,  and 
allowed°me  and  my  son  to  approach  within  twenty-five  yards.  I  did  not 
fire;  it  Hew  slowly  over  the  first  fence,  under  which  it  alighted,  and  we 
held  a  consultation  about  killing  it.  Being  in  a  dangerous  locality,  and 
I  thought  possibly  wounded,  I  decided  to  shoot  it.— R.  J.  W.  Pordy 
(Woodgate,  Aylsham). 

Rare  Birds  in  Ireland.  — Tbe  following  occurrences  may  be  worth 
recording  in  '  The  Zoologist.'  Great  Shearwater  (Puffinus  major),  received 
on  August  lath  from  Go.  Sligo  :  the  plumage  being  full  of  sand,  and  the 
bird  m'uch  wasted,  it  had  evidently  been  picked  up  dead  on  the  sea  shore. 
Spotted  Redshank  {Totanas  fuscus),  received  Sept.  ^Tth,  having  been  shot 
near  Sallins,  Kildare  :  an  immature  bird  of  the  year,  its  breast  mottled 
with  grey.  Great  Snipe  {Gallinago  major),  shot  in  the  first  week  of 
October  by  Major  Hutchinson,  of  Rookville,  near  Drumsna,  Co.  Leitrnn  : 
this  bird    weighed    eight   ounces,  and  is  the  first  genuine   solitary  snipe 


which  in  the  course  of  twenty-five  years  has  passed  through  our  hands. 
Dotterel  [Euclromias  morinellus),  two  shot  by  Mr.  St.  George,  near 
Clonniell,  in  September :  one,  an  adult  female,  still  shows  the  bare 
hatching  spots,  the  other  is  an  immature  bird  of  the  year.  Great  Spotted 
Woodpecker  [Piciis  major):  on  December  3rd,  an  adult  male  was  sent  to 
us  from  Kilkeel,  Co.  Down,  by  Dr.  Evans,  and  was  by  him  generously 
presented  to  the  Science  and  Art  Museum  ;  soon  afterwards  we  received 
a  female,  which  had  been  shot  by  Mr.  Menzie's  gamekeeper,  in  the  woods 
of  Glasslough,  Co.  Monaghan,  the  residence  of  Sir  John  Leslie.  Sabine's 
Snipe  (Scolopax  sabini),  one  obtained  on  December  5th,  in  Kildare,  by 
Mr.  McSheehy,  who  has  most  liberally  presented  it  to  the  Science  and  Art 
Museum.  Another  somewhat  darker  specimen  we  purchased  in  the 
Dublin  market  on  December  27th. — Williams  &  Son  (2,  Dame  Street, 

Estimated  duration  of  life  in  an  Albatross.— A  curious  incident  is 
reported  by  the  'Hiogo  News,'  being  communicated  to  it  by  Capt.  Heard, 
of  the  British  ship,  the  '  Duchess  of  Argyle.'  When  rounding  Cape  Horn, 
an  immense  Albatross  was  noticed  following  the  ship.  One  day,  as  it 
hovered  over  the  poop,  it  was  noticed  that  an  object  about  the  size  of  a 
dollar  was  hanging  round  the  bird's  neck,  and  an  attempt  was  at  once  made 
to  catch  it  by  means  of  a  large  hook  baited  by  a  piece  of  pork  and  allowed 
to  drift  astern.  Several  other  Albatrosses  were  cauglit,  but  it  was  not 
until  the  third  day  that  the  one  in  question  took  the  hook,  wiiich  fixed  itself 
firmly  in  its  beak.  On  the  bird  being  dragged  on  board  it  was  found  that 
the  object  hanging  from  its  neck  was  a  brass  pocket  compass-case,  fastened 
with  three  strands  of  stout  copper  wire  round  the  bird's  neck.  Two  of  the 
wires  had  worn  through,  and  the  box  was  thickly  covered  with  verdigris. 
On  its  being  opened  there  was  found  written  on  a  piece  of  paper  in  faded 
ink  the  following:—"  Caught  May  8th,  1848,  in  latitude  38-6  S.,  40-14  W., 
by  Ambrose  Cochran,  of  American  ship  '  Columbus.'  "  A  fresh  label,  with 
the  old  and  new  dates  of  capture,  was  fastened  round  the  bird's  neck,  and  it 
was  then  released.  It  was  measured  before  being  allowed  to  fly,  and  was 
found  to  be  twelve  feet  two  inches  between  the  tips  of  its  wings.  As  the 
bird  was  probably  four  or  five  years  old  before  being  captured  the  first  time, 
the  interesting  fact  is  proved  that  the  natural  life  of  an  Albatross  is  at  least 
fifiy  yt-ars. 

Purple  Sandpiper  in  the  Channel  Islands. — It  may  be  of  interest 
to  note  the  occurrence  of  the  Purple  Sandpiper,  Tvuiija  iiiaiitiina,  in 
Jersey.  1  shot  a  bird  of  this  species  there  on  January  6th  last,  on 
the  rocks  at  La  Coupe,  and  on  taking  it  to  Mr.  Caplin,  taxidermist,  was 
iiilonued  that  only  two  or  three  Purple  Sandpipers  from  this  island  Jiad 
passed  through  his  hands.     This  bird  is  not  included  either  in    Professor 


Ansted's  list  or  in  Mr.  Cecil   Smith's,  '  Birds  of  Guernsey.' — J.  Nicoll 
(Le  Vivier,  St.  Martin's,  Jersey). 

Moorhen  nesting  in  a  disused  Punt. —  Wliile  shooting  on  Sutton 
Heath,  near  Woodbridge,  Suffollt,  on  October  l'2th,  I  noticed  a  curious 
spot  for  a  Waterhen  to  build  her  nest ;  she  had  placed  it  upon  the  bow  end 
of  a  disused  punt  which  was  lying  nearly  full  of  water  at  the  edge  of  a 
pond,  in  full  view  of  everyone  passing.  I  drew  the  attention  of  my  friends 
who  were  shooting  with  me  to  it,  and  we  thoroughly  investigated  the 
matter,  Upon  making  enquiries  of  the  gentleman  farming  the  land  he 
said  that  when  the  nest  was  built  the  punt  was  rather  more  concealed  by 
overhanging  boughs. — E.  C.  Moor  (Great  Bealings,  Woodbridge,  Suffolk). 



Januarij  20,  1887. — William  Carruthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the 

Mr.  John  Benbow  and  Mr.  Fiennes  L.  Y.  Cornwallis  were  elected 
Fellows  of  the  Society. 

The  President  announced  that  H.R.H.  The  Prince  of  Wales  had 
officially  entered  his  name  as  an  Honorary  member  on  the  Roll  of  the 

An  oil  portrait  of  Francis  Masson,  F.L.S.,  who  was  elected  179(3,  and 
made  extensive  collections  of  living  plants  in  South  Africa,  was  laid  before 
the  Fellows,  and  offered  for  their  acceptance  by  the  President.  The 
announcement  of  this  donation  was  received  with  acclamation. 

A  letter  was  read  from  Mr.  Benjamin  T.  Lowne,  referring  to  an  exhibi- 
tion by  him  of  photographs  from  microscopical  specimens  of  the  retina  of 
insects.  One  section  represented  the  retinal  layer  detached  from  the 
opticon  ;  other  sections  showed  the  basillar  layer ;  thus  practically  affording 
evidence  that  the  nerves  terminate  in  end  organs, t>jx.,  rods  placed  in  groups 
beneath  the  opticon, — a  view  promulgated  by  Mr.  Lowne  in  his  memoir, 
"  On  the  Compound  Vision  and  the  Morphology  of  the  Eye  in  Insects." 
(new  ser.  Zool.  vol.  ii.  pp.  389-420). 

Mr.  J.  W.  Waller  exhibited  a  large  block  of  wood,  part  of  an  oak 
grown  in  Sussex.  The  wood  having  been  sawn  up  lengthwise,  it  was  found 
to  contain  along  tunnel  and  a  large  living  larva  of  the  longicorn  beetle, 
Prlonus  coriarius. 

Dr.  John  Anderson  communicated  a  paper  by  the  Rev.  Thomas 
Hincks,   viz.  : — "  Report    on    Hydroida    and    Polyzoa    from    the   Mergui 


Archipelago."  The  author  states  that  though  the  material  is  moderate  in 
amount,  it  nevertheless  possesses  interest  in  a  fine  mass  of  Nellia  occulata. 
Busk  (preserved  in  spirit),  which  proves  rich  in  minute  forms,  both  of 
Polyzoa  and  Hydroida.  A  new  genus  is  described,  provisionally  ranked 
amongst  the  BicellariidcB,  and  probably  nearly  related  to  Bugula.  Stegano- 
porella  smithii  is  noted,  the  Mergai  example  being  undoubtedly  identical 
with  the  Cornish  species.  A  variety  of  Smitt's  Schizoporella  spongites  is 
described,  forming  a  spreading  crust,  white  and  silvery,  on  stone.  Buskia 
setigera,  n.  sp.  is  figured.  The  occurrence  of  a  second  species  of  Buskia  has  a 
positive  interest  as  throwing  further  light  on  a  peculiar  kind  of  structure. 
Hitherto  the  genus  has  been  represented  by  Buskia  nitens.  Alder,  a  smaller 
form  than  the  present,  which  is  not  uncommon  on  the  English  coasts,  and 
ranges  from  the  Mediterranean  to  the  extreme  north  (Davis  Strait,  Barents 
Sea,  White  Sea),  and  to  the  Queen  Charlotte  Islands  in  the  North  Pacific. 
B.  setigera  is  comparatively  large  ;  and  from  the  suberect  habit  of  the 
cell,  the  ventral  aperture  extending  from  tlie  bottom  (or  nearly  so)  to  the 
top,  is  more  apparent  and  more  readily  studied.  The  solid  or  chitinous 
portion  of  the  zocecium  forms  a  kind  of  carapace  closed  in  below  by  a 
membranous  wall.  The  polypide  stretches  along  the  upper  portions  of  the 
cell  immediately  beneath  the  chitinous  shell,  and  issues  at  the  top  of  the 
oral  area.  The  structure,  so  far  as  it  can  be  determined  in  spirit-specimens, 
is  extremely  simple ;  there  seems  to  be  no  trace  of  a  gizzard.  In  the 
setose  portion  of  the  tentacular  sheath  there  is  an  interesting  peculiarity. 
The  setae,  before  expanding,  instead  of  being  packed  together  so  as  to 
form  a  straight  pencil,  are  seen  to  be  subspirally  arranged,  some  tending 
to  one  side,  some  to  the  other,  and  bear  some  resemblance  to  loosely 
twisted  strands  in  a  cord.  As  the  tentacular  corona  moves  upward  and 
presses  upon  the  base  of  the  operculum,  the  setae  disentangle  themselves 
and  expand  into  the  usual  funnel-shaped  figure.  The  setae  with  the 
reversible  portion  of  the  sheath  from  which  they  rise  equal  the  cell 
in  length.  The  four  setose  appendages  placed  round  the  upper  portion  of 
the  cell-margin  form  a  very  conspicuous  and  striking  feature.  When  the 
polypide  is  exserted,  they  are  thrown  back  and  stand  out  from  the  cell ; 
when  it  withdraws  they  are  brought  together  and  project  at  the  summit. 
The  tubular  adherent  processes  given  off  from  the  lower  part  of  the  cell 
correspond  with  the  spines  round  the  base  of  the  zocecium  in  B.  nitens. 
The  cells  are  developed  in  large  numbers  on  the  creeping  stem,  and  the 
habit  of  growth  is  luxuriant. 

Membraniporafavus,  M.  marginella,  Lepralia  robusta,  Porella  malleolus, 
with  others,  are  among  the  new  species  fully  entered  into.  Of  Hydroids, 
Obelia  andersoni  and  0.  bifurca  are  new  to  science,  the  latter  probably 
allied  to  the  bicuspidata,  Clarke,  known  from  the  Thimble  Islands,  coast  of 
New  England. — J.  Mubie. 

scientific  societies.  79 

Zoological  Society  of  London. 

December  21,  1886.— Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President, 
in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to  the 
Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  November,  1886. 

Mr.  Howard  Saunders  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  specimen  of  a 
hybrid  between  the  Tufted  Duck  and  the  Pochard,  bred  in  Lancashire  in  1886. 

Mr.  J.  Bland  Sutton  read  a  paper  on  Atavism,  being  a  critical  and 
systematic  position  of  the  Sponges.  This  was  based  on  the  recent  researches 
on  the  Hexactmellida,  TetractinelUda,  and  Monaxonida  of  the  '  Challenger' 
Expedition,  and  on  his  own  investigations  on  the  rich  Australian  Sponge- 
fauna,  particularly  of  the  groups  Calcarea,  Chalinidm,  and  Horny  Sponges. 
A  complete  system  of  Sponges  was  proposed,  and  worked  out  down  to  the 
families  and  subfamilies,  and  all  the  principal  genera  were  mentioned.  An 
approximately  complete  list  of  the  literature  of  Sponges  (comprising  the 
titles  of  1446  papers),  a  "  key"  to  the  determination  of  the  forty-six  families, 
and  a  discussion  of  the  systematic  position  of  the  Sponges  were  also 
contained  in  the  paper. 

Prof.  Pi.ay  Lankester  communicatei  a  paper  by  Dr.  A.  Gibbs  Bourne,  of 
the  Presidency  College,  Madras,  on  Indian  Earthworms,  containing  an 
account  of  the  Earthworms  collected  and  observed  by  the  author  during 
excursions  to  the  Nilg'ris  and  Shevaroy  HiUs.  Upwards  of  twenty  new 
species  were  described. 

Jan.  18.— Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to  the 
Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  December,  1886,  and  called 
attention  to  a  young  male  of  the  true  Zebra,  Equus  zebra,  purchased 
December  11th  ;  and  to  a  young  male  Indian  Rhinoceros,  presented  by 
H.H.  the  Maharajah  of  Cooch  Behar,  through  the  kind  intervention 
of  Dr.  B.  Simpson,  and  received  December  25th. 

Mr.  F.  W.  Styan  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  series  of  Chinese 
Birds' eggs  which  he  had  collected  at  Kiukiang  and  Shanghai. 

Mr.  Howard  Saunders  exhibited  and  read  some  notes  on  a  skin  of  the 
Mediterranean  Black-headed  Gull,  Larus  melanocephalus,  killed  on 
Breydon  Water,  near  Great  Yarmouth,  and  sent  for  exhibition  by  Mr.  G. 
Smith,  of  that  town.  This  was  stated  to  be  the  first  absolutely  authentic 
occurrence  of  this  southern  species  on  the  British  coasts. 

Mr.  Sclater  exhibited  and  made  some  remarks  on  an  example  of  a  rare 
Amazon  Parrot,  Chnjsotis  bodini,  from  British  Guina. 

Mr.  W.  B.  Tegetmeier  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  three  heads  of 
the  Sumatran  Rhinoceros,  A.  sumutrensis,  from  Sarawak,  Borneo. 

Prof.  Rupert  Jones  read  a  paper  by  himself,  Messrs.  H.  B.  Brady,  and 


W.  K.  Parker,  on  the  Foraminifera  dredged  up  on  the  Abrolhos  Bank  by 
H.M.S.  '  Plumper '  in  1857.  The  series  contained  examples  of  1Q4 
species  and  notable  varieties,  and  furnished  results  of  definite  value  as 
regards  the  distribution  of  this  group  of  animals. 

Prof.  G.  B.  Howes,  read  a  paper  on  the  skeleton  and  affinities  of  the 
paired  fins  of  Ceratodus,  and  added  observations  upon  the  corresponding 
organs  of  the  Elasmobranchii  and  other  fishes. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Prof.  T.  Jeffrey  Parker,  of  the 
University  of  Otago,  New  Zealand,  containing  an  account  of  the  anatomy 
of  Rondelet's  Shark,  Carcharodon  rondeletii. 

A  communication  was  read  from  the  Rev.  N.  Abraham,  containing  an 
account  of  the  habits  of  the  Trapdoor  Spider  of  Graham's  Town, 
Moggridgia  dyeri. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Dr.  R.  W.  Shufeldt,  containing  notes 
on  the  visceral  anatomy  of  certain  Auks. 

Mr.  P.  L.  Sclater  pointed  out  the  characters  of  eight  new  species  of 
birds  of  the  family  Tyrannidse. 

Mr.  Sclater  also  described  a  new  Ant-Thrush  of  the  genus  Grallaria 
from  Ecuador,  for  which  he  proposed  the  name  Grallaria  duboisi. 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

Fifty-fourth  Anniversary  Meeting,  January  19,  1887.  —  Robeet 
M'Lachlan,  Esq.,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

An  Abstract  of  the  Treasurer's  Accounts,  showing  a  large  Balance  in 
the  Society's  favour,  was  read  by  Mr.  Stainton,  one  of  the  Auditors;  and 
the  Secretary  read  the  Report  of  tlie  Council. 

The  following  gentlemen  were  elected  as  Officers  and  Council  for 
18S7:— President,  Dr.  David  Sharp,  F.Z.S. ;  Trertsitra-,  Mr.  Edward 
Saunders,  F.L.S. ;  Secretaries,  Mr.  Herbert  Goss,  F.L.S.,  and  the  Rev. 
W.  W.  Fowler,  M.A.,  F.L.S. ;  Librarian,  Mr.  Ferdinand  Grut,  F.L.S. : 
and  as  other  Members  of  Council,  Messrs.  Robert  M'Lachlan,  F.R  S. ; 
Gervase  Mathew,  R.N.,  F.L.S.:  George  T.  Porritt,  F.L.S. ;  Edward  B. 
Poulton,  M.A.,  F.G.S. ;  Osbert  Salvin,  M.A.,  F.R.S. ;  Henry  T.  Stainton, 
F.R.S. ;  Samuel  Stevens,  F.L.S.;  and  J.  Jenner  Weir,  F.L.S.,  F.Z.S. 

The  retiring  President  delivered  an  address,  for  which  a  vote  of  thanks 
to  him  was  moved  by  Mr.  E.  B.  Poulton,  seconded  by  Prof.  Meldola,  and 
carried  unanimousl}'. 

A  vote  of  thanks  to  the  Treasurer,  Secretaries,  and  Librarian  was  moved 
by  Mr.  M'Lachlan,  seconded  by  Mr.  Stainton,  and  carried;  and  Mr.  Goss 
and  Mr.  Grut  replied. 

A  vote  of  thanks  to  the  Council  was  proposed  by  Mr.  Waterhouse, 
seconded  by  Mr.  White,  and  carried. — H.  Goss,  Hon.  Sec. 



Vol.  XI.]  MARCH,    1887.  [No.  123. 


By  Robert  Sekyice. 

I  HAVE  long  been  aware,  without  thinking  until  lately  that  the 
fact  had  anj'  special  significance,  that  Ptarmigan  used  to  be  found 
on  the  higher  summits  of  the  range  of  hills  that  divides  Kirkcud- 
brightshire and  Dumfriesshire  from  the  neighbouring  counties  of 
Ayr,  Lanark,  Peebles,  and  Selkirk.  It  has  often  been  a  matter 
of  surprise  to  me  that  the  former  existence  of  these  birds  in  this 
south-west  corner  of  Scotland  was  never  alluded  to,  even  inci- 
dentally, by  writers  on  Scottish  Ornithology,  with  the  single 
exception  of  the  late  Sir  William  Jardine  ('  Game  Birds,'  1834). 
In  no  other  ornithological  work  that  I  am  aware  of  is  the  occur- 
rence of  Ptarmigan  in  these  two  counties  mentioned,  unless  indeed 
Montagu's  remark  that  "  some  few  are  yet  to  be  found  south  of 
the  Tweed"  may  be  taken  as  applying  here.  But  Montagu,  who 
doubtless  meant  the  statement  to  refer  to  Cumberland,  was 
probably  unaware,  like  a  good  many  other  Southrons,  that  a  con- 
siderable and  by  no  means  unimportant  portion  of  Scotland  lies 
"south  of  the  Tweed"!  I  had  intended  writing  a  note  on  the 
subject  immediately  after  reading  Mr.  A.  G.  More's  communication 
(Zool.  1881,  p.  44),  in  which  he  endeavoured  to  show  that  the 
whole  story  of  the  former  existence  of  Ptarmigan  in  Westmoreland 
and  Cumberland  was  unreliable.  Like  other  good  resolutions, 
however,  this  intention  of  mine  went  out  of  mind  until  now,  when 
in  the  course  of  beginning  to  take  in  hand  the  Ornithology  of  the 

Z00I>0GIST. MARCH,    1887.  II 


Scottish  Solvvay  district,  the  matter  of  Ptarmigan  again  came 
under  notice.  Believing  this  hitherto  ahnost  overlooked  subject 
to  be  of  more  than  local  interest,  and  looking  to  the  important 
bearing  it  has  on  the  former  occurrence  (disputed  in  the  mean- 
time) of  Ptarmigan  in  the  English  Lake  district,  I  have  deemed 
it  advisable  to  lay  the  result  of  my  enquiries  before  the  readers 
of  tliis  journal. 

There  are  four  localities  in  which  the  former  existence  of 
Ptarmigan  can  be  traced,  viz. — (1)  The  mountains  of  Minnj^gaff 
parish ;  (2)  the  mountains  in  the  parishes  of  Kells  and  Carsphairn ; 
(3)  the  district  surmounted  by  the  peak  of  the  Lowtliers,  on  the 
dividing  ridge  betwixt  Dumfriesshire  and  Lanarkshire ;  and  (4) 
the  district  around  Hartfell,  at  the  head  of  Moffatdale.  The  first 
two  localities  are  in  Kirkcudbright,  the  last  two  are  in  Dumfries. 
These  various  localities  are  so  nearly  connected  that  I  separate 
them  only  for  the  sake  of  treating  the  subject  more  clearly. 

Kirkcudbrightshire.     Minnygaff.  —  The  earliest  notices  of 
the  Ptarmigan  that  I  have  been  able  to  find  in  local  literature  are 
contained  in  Symson's  '  Description  of  Galloway.'     This  work, 
written  in  1G84  at  the  request  of  Sir  Eobert  Sibbald  and  forming 
part  of  the  Sibbald  MSS.  deposited  in  the  Advocate's  Library  in 
Edinburgh,  was  not  printed  until  1823.     At  page  79  there  is  an 
interesting  paragraph,  which  I  may  be  excused  for  quoting  in 
full.     Enumerating  the  natural  productions  of  Galloway,  Symson 
writes  : — "As  concerning  animals  I  can  say  nothing  save  that  in 
this  countrey,  consisting  both  of  moors  and  valley  grounds  along 
the  sea  shore,  we  have  such  as  are  usualy  found   in  the  like 
places  ;  as  in  the  moors  we  have  plenty  of  moor-fowles,  partridges, 
tarmakens,  &c.     In  our  hills  and  boggs,  foxes,  good  store.     Li 
our  lochs  and  bourns,  otters ;  near  the  sea  severall  sorts  of  wild 
geese,  wild  ducks,  ateales,  small  teales,  seamaws,  gormaws,  and 
an  other  fowl,  which  I  know  not  the  name  of;  it  is  about  the 
bigness  of  a  pigeon;  it  is  black,  and  hath  a  red  bill.    I  have  seen 
it   haunting   about   the    Kirk   of  Mochrum."      The  bird  which 
Symson  describes  in  the  latter  portion  of  the  passage  is  of  course 
the  Chough,  which  may  still  (though  rapidly  decreasing)  be  seen 
about  the  locality  named.    Several  old  MSS.  relating  to  Galloway 
are  printed  as  appendices  to  Symson's  work.     One  of  these  is 
entitled  '  Description  of  Minnygaff,'  and  forms  part  of  the  Mac- 
farlane  MSS.,  also  in  the  Advocate's  Library.    This  MS.  appears 


to  have  been  written  in  the  earl}'^  part  of  last  ceutuiy  by  Andrew 
Heron,  of  Bargaly,  a  famous  botanist  in  his  day.  Heron  {op.  cit., 
p.  132),  referring  to  the  mountain  of  Meyrick,  states  :  — 

"In  the  remote  parts  of  this  great  mountain,  are  very  large 
Eed  Deer;  and  about  the  top  thereof,  that  fine  bird,  called  the 
Mountain  Partridge,  or,  by  the  commonalty,  the  Tarmachan, 
about  the  size  of  a  Eedcock,  and  its  flesh  much  of  the  same 
nature :  feeds,  as  that  bird  doth,  on  the  seeds  of  the  bullrush  [?], 
and  makes  its  protection  in  the  chinks  and  hollow  places  of  thick 
stones,  from  the  insults  of  the  eagles,  which  are  in  plenty,  both 
the  large  gray  and  the  black,  about  that  mountain."  Further  on 
(p.  142),  describing  his  own  property  of  Bargaly,  Heron  says, 
"  The  land  extends  to  Cairnsmure,*  whereunto  the  greatest  part 
of  that  mountain  belongs,  where  there  is  good  store  of  Bristol 
stone  of  divers  colours,  very  well  cutt  naturally :  very  large  Red- 
deer,  with  plenty  of  mountain  partridges  and  other  muirfowl." 
No  one  who  has  ever  been  on  the  Minnygaff  Mountains  can  doubt 
their  suitability  as  Ptarmigan-ground.  The  very  name  of  tlie 
parish,  which  is  from  the  Gaelic  vionadh  geodli,  signifying  "  the 
mountainous  expanse  full  of  deep  hollows  and  chasms,"  is 
thoroughly  descriptive  of  its  aspect.  Within  the  parish  there 
are  twelve  peaks  from  1500  to  2000  feet  in  height,  and  no  less 
than  ten  peaks  ranging  from  2000  up  to  2764  (Meyrick).  There 
can  be  no  doubt,  from  the  number  of  people  to  be  met  with  who 
have  heard  their  forbears  speak  of  Ptarmigan,  that  these  birds 
were  in  former  times  comparatively  abundant  in  the  parish.  I 
may  name  two  individuals  entitled  to  every  credit,  and  their 
statements  correspond  with  those  of  many  others  who  might  be 
cited  if  necessary.  Mr.  Erskine,  gunsmith  and  game-dealer  in 
Newton  Stewart,  who  has  been  connected  with  guns,  game,  and 
gamekeepers  all  his  life,  as  were  his  father  and  grandfather  before 
him,  says  he  well  remembers  hearing  his  grandfather,  William 
Erskine,  who  died  in  1820,  tell  of  shooting  Ptarmigan  on  Meyrick 
and  other  hills  in  Minnygaff.  Mr.  Thomas  Galbraith,  retired 
gamekeeper  in  Newton  Stewart,  who  has  been  following  his  pro- 
fession over  these  hills  since  1827,  informs  me  that  no  Ptarmigan 
have  been  seen  in  his  time,  but  that  he  had  known  older  keepers 
who  had  shot  them;  and  that  all  the  older  keepers  and  shepherds 

*  Cairnsmore  of  Fleet,  not  Cairnsmore  of  Carsphami,  hereafter  mentioned 
in  this  article. — R.  S. 


then  in  the  district  when  he  began  used  to  tell  him  of  the  former 
existence  of  Ptarmigan  on  the  hill-tops,  and  regret  their  dis- 
appearance. In  Harper's  'Rambles  in  Galloway'  (p.  150)  it  is 
recorded  that  the  last  Ptarmigan  shot  in  Gallowaj'^  was  killed  on 
the  Dungeon  o'  Buchan  in  1820  by  one  of  the  Earl  of  Galloway's 
keepers.  I  have  been  told  that  this  very  bird  was  preserved  by 
the  then  factor  on  the  estate,  but  have  been  unable  to  verify  the 
information.  In  the  'New  Statistical  Account'  (Parish  of  Minny- 
gaff,  p.  120,  1842)  it  is  stated  that  Ptarmigan  Avere  formerly 
common  there,  but  had  at  that  date  disappeared.  I  think  1820 
may  be  taken  as  the  date  of  their  extinction  in  the  parish. 

Kells  and  Carsphairn.  —  In  these  two  parishes,  the  former  of 
which  marches  with  Minnygaff,  traditions  of  the  former  existence 
of  Ptarmigan  abound,  almost  every  elderly  native  being  able  to 
say  that  he  had  heard  his  father  talk  of  the  birds.  In  the  '  Old 
Statistical  Account'  (Parish  of  Kells,  vol.  iv.,  p.  263,  1792)  the 
Bev.  John  Gillespie  states  that  Ptarmigan  were  at  that  time  to  be 
found  on  the  high  hills  of  Kells.  The  highest  peak  in  the  two 
parishes  is  Cairnsmore  of  Carsphairn,  and  here  the  birds  seem  to 
have  been  found  until  about  1818.  Mr.  Kennedy,  of  Knock- 
nailing,  in  reply  to  my  question,  states  that  he  had  been  informed 
by  old  Mr.  M'Millan,  tenant  in  Viewfield,  that  he  had  shot 
Ptarmigan  on  Cairnsmore  in  the  winter  of  1817-18,  and  sent 
them  to  Mr.  Oswald,  of  Auchencruive.  That  winter  Mr.  M'Millan 
said  was  unusually  severe,  the  snow  lying  far  into  the  spring  (a 
circumstance  verified  by  local  records),  and  that  Ptarmigan  were 
never  afterwards  seen  or  heard  of  in  that  district.  Mr.  Hastings, 
the  well-known  taxidermist  in  Dumfries,  tells  me  that  in  1835 
(he  is  tolerably  certain  of  the  year)  he  was  on  Cairnsmore,  and 
being  anxious  to  ascertain  if  it  was  probable  that  any  Ptarmigan 
were  still  on  the  mountain,  he  made  some  enquiries  of  the 
residents,  and  leai'nt  from  William  Johnstone,  a  shepherd,  who 
then  lived  at  Burnfoot,  of  Carsphairn,  that  he  had  known  the 
Ptarmigan  all  his  life  on  the  top  of  Cairnsmore ;  but  they 
gradually  dwindled  awaj',  and  he  had  not  seen  a  single  bird 
during  the  previous  fourteen  or  fifteen  years.  The  shepherd  was 
then  apparently  a  man  of  over  sixtj'^  years  of  age,  and  Mr. 
Hastings  says  he  was  greatly  diverted  at  the  time  with  the  deep 
guttural  and  sonorous  tone  with  whicli  the  shepherd  uttered  the 
word  torrmachaii — a  rather  remarkable  confirmation  of  Heron  of 


Bargaly's  somewhat  supercilious  reference  to  "  the  couimonalty  " 
and  their  name  for  the  bird ! 

In  the  'New  Statistical  Account '  (Kells  Parish,  1844,  p.  110) 
it  is  stated,  "Ptarmigan  are  extinct";  and  again  {op.cit.,  Cars- 
phairn  Parish,  18.14,  p.  275),  we  find  that  "it  is  commonly  said 
that  the  last  place  in  the  South  of  Scotland  which  the  Ptarmigan 
frequented  was  Cairnsmuir.  They  have  for  some  time,  however, 
been  completely  destroyed  or  banished." 

Dumfriesshire.  The  Lowthers  and  District. — On  the  Dum- 
friesshire side  of  the  Nith,  traditions  relating  to  Ptarmigan  are  by 
no  means  so  rife  as  in  the  Stewartry.  I  have  not  been  able  to 
ascertain  anything  at  all  definite  in  the  way  of  traditionary  record. 
It  is  pretty  certain  that  the  bulk  of  the  stock  of  birds  must  have 
gone  much  sooner  than  those  in  Galloway,  leaving  only  a  few 
stragglers  to  linger  into  the  present  century.  In  the  course  of 
quest  for  information  on  this  subject  it  occurred  to  me  to  search 
the  old  files  of  the  local  newspaper,  the  '  Dumfries  and  Galloway 
Courier,'  and  I  was  very  kindly  permitted  to  do  this  by  the 
courtesy  of  the  proprietor.  I  was  aware  that  the  late  Mr.  John 
M'Diarmid,  who  was  for  about  fifty  years  the  editor,  was  inti- 
mately acquainted  with  the  denizens  of  all  our  mountains  and 
glens,  and  a  naturalist  of  repute,  as  is  abundantly  testified  by  his 
published  '  Sketches  from  Nature,'  and  the  constant  references 
made  to  the  standard  authors  of  that  day,  such  as  Pennant, 
Latham,  Lewin,  Montagu,  Willughby,  Heysham,  and  Bewick, 
when  recording  ornithological  occurrences  in  the  '  Courier.'  I 
mention  these  matters  because  had  the  late  Mr.  M'Diarmid  been 
an  ordinary  newspaper  editor  (I  use  the  term  with  due  reverence 
for  the  Fourth  Estate  !)  the  paragraphs  given  below  would  not 
have  been  entitled  to  any  particular  credence  in  a  matter  of  this 
kind.  The  first  notice  of  Ptarmigan  is  in  the  'Courier'  for 
August  26th,  1823,  and  I  quote  the  entire  paragraph:  — 

"  Natural  History.  —  We  have  just  seen  and  examined  a  very 
beautiful  bird,  shot  by  Mr.  Murray,  of  Broughton,  on  the  18th 
current,  and  which  appears  to  be  quite  a  nondescript  in  ornith- 
ology. The  following  is  a  correct  description : — In  size,  form, 
and  weight,  the  same  as  a  well  grown  grouse,  with  the  roughness 
of  the  feet  and  claws,  and  red  fleshy  ring  above  the  eye,  that 
belong  to  that  species.  Plumage  beautiful,  and  totally  difi'erent. 
Colour  of  the  back  and  breast,  a  light  brown,  tinged  with  yellow; 


uing-feathers  unspotted,  and  of  a  dingy  white  or  hlae  colour. 
Tills  curious  bird  is  evidently  neither  a  partridge,  a  grouse,  or  a 
ptarmigan,  and  yet  it  has  several  points  of  resemblance  to  all 
three ;  and  may  peradventure  be  a  cross  betwixt  either  of  them. 
But  the  Ptarmigan,  which  is  white  in  winter  and  grey  in  summer, 
scarcely  ever  visits  the  low  grounds;  and  indeed  the  general 
opinion  is  that  this  bird  which  lingered  long  about  Cairnsmuir  of 
Carsphairn,  is  now  entirely  rooted  out  of  Gallowaj'.  Of  late  years 
it  has  never  been  seen ;  but  the  severit}'-  of  last  winter  brought 
many  feathered  fugitives  to  our  doors  ;  and  we  knoio  an  individual 
in  Sanquhar,  who  obtained,  last  season,  no  feiver  than  ten  brace  of 
Ptarmigan,  which  were  eagerly  purchased  by  stuffers  and  persons 
curious  in  ornithology.  Wolves,  wild  boars,  and  all  those  animals 
that  fly  before  the  march  of  civilization,  and  seem  exorcised  by 
the  woodman's  axe,  can  be  easily  spared,  and  are  well  out  of  the 
way ;  but  to  us,  '  the  universal  feathered  people '  are  so  truly 
interesting,  that  we  never  wish  to  see  a  single  bar  in  their 
escutcheon,  or  a  twig  severed  from  the  beautiful  family  tree." 

There  is  a  reference  again  to  the  same  occurrence  contained 
in  the  following  notice  of  the  capture  of  a  Bittern,  recorded  in  the 
•Courier'  for  February  21st,  1820:— 

"  The  bittern,  or  miredrura,  is  so  seldom  met  with  in  the  south 
of  Scotland  that  it  was  supposed  by  many  to  be  totally  unknown, 
but  although  the  extension  of  tillage  and  other  causes  have  com- 
pelled this  and  other  bipeds  to  return  to  wilds  'where  things  that 
own  not  man's  dominion  dwell,'  the  chapter  of  accidents  or  the 
severity  of  the  weather  is  every  now  and  then  throwing  a  solitary 
specimen  in  the  fowler's  way.  The  tremendous  snowstorms  of 
1822  brought  whole  flocks  of  wild  swans  to  our  shores,  and  during 
the  same  i^eriod  three  or  four  brace  of  Ptarmigan  rvere  killed  some- 
where  above  Sanquhar,  although  the  opinion  had  become  prevalent 
that  not  one  of  these  birds  existed  among  the  highest  hills  of 
Dumfriesshire  and  Galloway.  Some  of  the  ptarmigans  were  sent 
to  our  townsman,  Mr.  Shanks,  to  be  stuff"ed,  and  we  have  just 
been  informed  that  Mr.  John  Lewars  has  a  brace  of  voun« 
ptarmigans  alive  and  so  tame  that  they  run  about  the  doors  like 
domestic  fowls.  These  birds  tvere  brought,  we  understand,  from 
the  English  side,  and  ivere  probably  hatched  on  the  top  of  Skiddaw. 
But  our  object  in  lifting  the  pen  at  present  is  to  state  that  a  fine 
bittern  of  the  largest  size,  and  the  first  we  liave  heard  of  for  a 


long  time,  was  shot  last  week  on  the  estate  of  Croompark,  which 
stretches  almost  to  the  side  of  the  Nitli,  and  is  within  a  few 
minutes  walk  of  this  town.  This  bird,  which  we  have  seen,  is 
obviously  a  cock,  with  very  bright  plumage,  considering  its  colour, 
and  has  been  finely  stuffed  by  Mr.  Hellon,  at  Messrs.  J.  Kerr 
&  Coy's." 

It  will  be  seen  there  is  a  difference  in  the  number  of  brace 
said  to  have  been  taken,  but  the  main  interest  of  this  paragraph 
centres  in  the  passage  concerning  the  young  Ptarmigan  from 
Cumberland.  That  the  writer,  who  was  beyond  doubt  M'Diavmid 
himself,  comprehended  the  importance  attached  to  the  capture  of 
Ptarmigan  is  well  shown  in  the  following  words  occurring  in  an 
article  contained  in  the  '  Courier'  for  November  29tb,  1828  : — 

"  To  us  few  things  are  more  agreeable  than  a  day  spent  among 
the  mountains  of  Scotland  ;  and  hence  our  ■penchant  for  exploring 
every  loch  and  cleuch,  where  a  trout  leaps,  an  eagle  soars,  a  ptar- 
migan  lingers,  the  last  of  its  race,  or  a  bittern,  derned  in  some 
solitary  marsh,  beats  his  hollow  drum  as  the  night  closes  in." 

In  the  '  Courier'  for  May  14th,  1833,  in  describing  a  curious 
variety  of  the  Black  Grouse,  the  specimen  mentioned  in  a  para- 
graph above  quoted  is  again  referred  to  in  the  following  terms  : — 

"  Some  years  ago  Mr.  Murray,  of  Broughton,  shot  a  bird 
which  the  best  judges  considered  a  cross  between  the  Bed  Grouse 
and  Ptarmigan." 

We  may  now  dismiss  the  specimen  in  question  with  the 
remark  that,  after  all,  it  seems  to  have  borne  a  suspicious 
resemblance  to  a  Ptarmigan  in  the  lavender-tinted  autumn 
plumage.  I  have  failed  to  discover  any  trace  of  the  person 
who  captured  the  birds  "above  Sanquhar";  but  the  gamekeeper 
at  Wanlockhead,  who  has  been  fifty  years  a  keeper  in  the  district, 
says  he  had  heard  that  some  Ptarmigan  in  the  Dumfries  Museum 
were  killed  near  Wanlockhead.  The  Museum  was  established  in 
1835,  but  the  catalogue  of  the  contents,  printed  in  1843,  does  not 
mention  any  Ptarmigan.  There  were  two  old  specimens  in  the 
Museum,  however,  that  had  been  there  for  over  forty  years.  It 
is  a  painful  reflection  to  me  to  know  that  these  were  thrown  to  the 
rubbish-heap  by  myself  three  or  four  years  ago,  being  then  so 
much  moth-eaten  and  moulded,  owing  to  a  long  course  of  neglect, 
that  they  were  barely  recognisable  as  Ptarmigan.  I  am  convinced, 
from  enquiries  made  into  their  history,  that  they  were  really  two 


of  the  birds  cnptuvecl  near  Sanquhar  in  1822,  and  there  is  every 
reason  to  believe  they  were  presented  to  the  Museum  by  Mr. 
M'Diarmid  himself.  He  was  one  of  the  projectors  of  the  Museum, 
and  for  many  years  afterwards  took  a  keen  interest  in  promoting 
its  welfare.  The  late  Duke  of  Buccleuch  introduced  Ptarmigan 
near  Sanquhar  about  twenty-five  years  since,  but  they  immediately 
disappeared.  This  is,  I  believe,  the  only  attempt  that  has  been 
made  to  re-stock  any  part  of  the  hills  in  Galloway  and  Dumfries 
with  these  interesting  birds. 

Hartfell  and  District.  —  The  same  remark  I  made  about  the 
absence  of  oral  traditions  of  Ptarmigan  in  the  district  surrounding 
the  Lowthers  has  also  to  be  made  in  the  case  of  the  locality  under 
notice.  Mr.  Roy,  Secretary  of  the  Moffat  Naturalists'  Field  Club, 
has  most  obligingly  made  enquiries  for  me  in  that  district,  but 
with  only  a  negative  result.  There  are  two  printed  records  of 
Ptarmigan  in  Moffatdale.  One  of  these  is  contained  in  the  'New 
Statistical  Account'  (Moffat  Parish,  1835,  p.  108) :—"  Ptarmigan 
are  very  rarely  seen."  The  other  record  is  that  of  Sir  W.  Jardine 
('  Game  Birds,'  1831,  p.  172),  the  same  passage  being  repeated 
verbatim  in  his  '  British  Birds  '  (vol.  iii.,  p.  95) : — "According  to 
Pennant,  and  some  contemporary  writers,  these  birds  were  found 
on  the  hills  of  Westmoreland  and  Cumberland ;  and,  I  believe, 
recollections  even  exist  of  a  few  having  been  seen  upon  the  high 
ranges  which  ajipear  on  the  opposite  border  of  Scotland.  These 
have  been  for  some  time  extirpated,  and  unless  a  few  solitary 
pairs  remain  on  Skiddaw,  or  some  of  its  precipitous  neighbours, 
the  range  of  the  Grampians  will  be  its  most  southern  British 
station."  No  precise  locality  is  here  named,  but  "  the  high 
ranges"  on  the  border  of  Scotland  "opposite"  to  Cumberland  can 
only  be  the  Moffat  Hills. 

I  think  I  have  in  the  preceding  pages  succeeded  in  showing 
that  Ptarmigan  were  natives  of  the  South-west  of  Scotland  until 
near  the  end  of  the  first  quarter  of  the  present  centur}'.  During 
my  enquiries  I  have  never  heard  the  slightest  hint  that  the 
Ptarmigan  that  used  to  live  on  our  hills  might  have  been  white 
or  particoloured  specimens  of  the  common  Red  Grouse.  The 
suggestion  in  question  is  of  such  a  nature  that  it  is  not  easily 
disproved,  but  I  look  upon  it  as  a  rather  gratuitous  complication 
introduced  into  an  otherwise  very  interesting  piece  of  historical 
ornithology.     But  when  we  find  that  on  nearly  all  the  outlying 


stations  of  the  present  race  of  Ptarmigan  in  Scotland,  such  as  in 
Ai-ran,  in  Argyle,  and  the  Outer  Hebrides,  these  birds  are 
decreasing  and  on  some  i^hices  have  even  become  extinct,  and 
that  on  many  of  the  high  inh^nd  ranges  they  are  also  known  to  be 
diminishing  in  numbers,  their  extinction  on  the  Scottish  and 
English  borders  over  half  a  century  ago  is  not  surprising.  When 
they  were  on  the  mountains  of  Dumfriesshire  and  Gallowny  there 
is  no  improbability,  but  the  reverse,  that  they  were  also  at  the 
same  time  native  to  the  Cumbrian  mountains.  The  English  hills 
are  within  easy  sight  from  all  the  higher  peaks  on  our  ranges  ; 
and  there  can  be  no  question  that  the  former  are  high  enough, 
and  in  other  respects  suited  to  be  the  abodes  of  these  feathered 
children  of  the  mist. 


By  J.  E.  Kelsall. 

As  a  supplement  to  the  editorial  remarks  on  Horse-shoe  Bats 
in  'The  Zoologist'  for  January  last,  and  encouraged  by  the 
further  observations  of  Lord  Lilford  (p.  62),  I  have  collected  all 
the  records  that  I  have  been  able  to  find  of  the  occurrence  of 
the  smaller  species,  Rhinolophus  hifposideros,  in  Britain,  being 
able,  thanks  to  the  kindness  of  many  naturalists,  to  add  a  few 
•which  have  not  before  been  printed.  As  the  Editor  truly 
remarked,  the  larger  species,  R.  ferrum-equinum,  is  found  only 
in  the  southern  and  western  counties  ;  its  distribution  may  be 
summarised  as  "England  south  of  the  Thames  (from  Kent  to 
Cornwall)  and  South  "Wales."  Its  Welsh  localities  have  not  been 
mentioned  before  in  '  The  Zoologist ' :  they  are  the  Mumbles  near 
Swansea,  in  Glamorganshire  ('Field,'  Jan.  1,  1881),  and  the  Old 
Wogan,  a  partly  natural,  partly  artificial,  cave,  which  adjoins 
Pembroke  Castle,  where  it  has  been  found  by  Mr,  James  Tracy, 
of  Pembroke.  In  the  same  article  it  was  stated  that  the 
smaller  species  also  was  chiefly  restricted  to  the  southern 
counties  of  England,  but  the  following  records  will  show  that 
its  range  extends  much  more  to  the  north  and  west  than  that  of 
its  congener,  and  not  so  far  eastward. 

In  the  south-western  corner  of  England  it  is  frequently  met 
with  :  for  Cornwall  I  may  quote  Couch  (Zool.  1853,  p.  3941). 


[See  also  Couch,  'Cornish  Fauna,'  part  i.  p.  6,  and  Cocks,  'The 
Naturalist,'  vol.  i.  p.  37. — Ed.]  For  Devonshire,  see  Montagu, 
Trans.  Linn.  Soc.  vol.  ix.  p.  163,  and  Lord  Lilford,  in  last 
month's  'Zoologist'  (p.  63).  [See  also  Bellamy,  'Nat,  Hist. 
South  Devon,'  p.  193  ;  Brooking  Rowe,  'Cat.  Mamm.,  &c.,  Devon,' 
p.  3  ;  W.  Borrer,  Zool.  1874,  p.  4129 ;  D'Urban,  '  Handbook 
S.  Devon,'  Append,  p.  xxvi.  (1875);  and  Parfitt,  'Fauna  of 
Devon  '  (1877),  p.  17.— Ed.] 

Somerset  is  given  as  a  habitat  in  Jenyns'  'Manual,'  and  the 
venerable  author  has  kindly  vs^ritten,  in  answer  to  my  inquiry, 
that  it  is  frequent  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Bath,  the  specimens 
in  the  Museum  there  having  been  taken  in  a  stone-quarry 
together  with  the  larger  species;  and  that  "many  years  back" 
he  received  others  taken  in  churches  in  Bristol.  The  Rev. 
M.  A.  Mathew  also  informs  me  that  he  has  taken  li.  liipposideros 
in  a  cave  at  Uphill,  near  Weston-super-Mare,  "some  years  ago." 
For  Dorsetshire  we  have  again  the  authority  of  Jenyns'  '  Manual 
of  British  Vertebrates  '  (p.  20). 

In  the  Isle  of  Wight  Mr.  H.  Rogers,  of  Freshwater,  who 
knows  the  larger  species,  and  feels  sure  that  he  is  not  mistaken 
in  the  identification,  tells  me  that  one  specimen  of  R.  hipjjosideros 
was  taken  about  twenty  years  ago  at  Niton ;  but  it  must  be 
uncommon  in  the  island  (perhaps  a  recent  immigrant  ?),  as  it 
was  never  discovered  there  by  Mr.  A.  G.  More,  nor  by  any  other 
good  observer  who  has  lived  there.  [R.ferram-equinum,  on  the 
other  hand,  is  the  commonest  large  Bat  in  the  Undercliff; 
cf.  More  in  Venables'  '  Guide  to  the  Isle  of  Wight,'  p.  409 ;  and 
W.  Borrer,  Zool.  1874,  p.  4129.— Ed.] 

It  was  in  Wiltshire  that  it  was  first  discovered,  by  Montagu, 
to  be  a  British  species.     (Linn.  Trans,  ix.  p.  163). 

[Worcestershire. — Dr.  Hastings,  in  his  '  Illustrations  of  the 
Nat.  Hist.  Worcestershire '  (1834),  includes  (p.  62)  "the  large 
Horse-shoe,  Rhinoloplms  ferrum-equinwin,"  but  not  the  lesser 
species. — Ed.] 

Gloucestershire  and  Warwickshire  were  added  by  Mr.  Tomes 
in  the  second  edition  of  Bell's  'British  Quadrupeds'  (1874), 
though  it  cannot  be  considered  common  in  the  latter  county, 
since  Mr.  Tomes  mentions  only  two  localities  for  it — Welford, 
and  Ragley  near  Alcester.  In  the  former  county  it  is  stated  to 
be  not  rare  at  Cirencester. 


[Staflfordsliire. — The  Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat  is  not  mentioned 
by  Garner  in  his  *  Nat.  Hist,  of  the  Co.  Stafford,'  but  Mr.  J.  E. 
Masefield,  in  a  paper  on  '  The  existing  Indigenous  Mammalia  of 
North  Staffordshire,'  includes  it  as  occurring  near  Burton,  on  the 
authority  of  Mr.  Edwin  Brown. — Ed.] 

It  is  remarkable  that  these  counties  appear  to  form  the  south- 
eastern limit  of  this  Bat  in  England.  On  the  Hampshire 
mainland  ten  other  species  have  been  met  with,  in  Sussex  nine, 
not  counting  Mr.  Borrer's  specimens  of  the  Serotine  (Zool.  1874, 
p.  4126),  in  Kent  eight,  and  the  same  number  in  Essex  (where 
Mr.  Laver  is  well  acquainted  with  seven) ;  and  yet  neither 
Mr.  Bond,  Mr.  Borrer,  Mr.  Laver,  Mr.  Kope,  nor  Mr.  Southwell 
seem  to  have  met  with  R.  hipposideros  in  any  district  to  the 
south-east  of  those  I  have  named ;  indeed,  Mr.  Laver,  in  his 
"List  of  the  Mammals  of  Essex"  ('Trans.  Essex  Field  Club,' 
vol.  ii.  p.  162),  states  that  he  does  not  believe  either  species  of 
Horse-shoe  Bat  occurs  in  the  district,  which  is  strong  negative 
evidence,  considering  the  large  number  of  Bats  which  have 
passed  through  his  hands.  I  should  be  glad  if  any  reader  of 
'  The  Zoologist '  could  suggest  a  reason  for  its  absence  from  the 
south-east  corner  of  England  :  it  can  scarcely  be  for  want  of 
natural  caverns,  since  it  has  often  been  taken  in  buildings. 
Leisler's  Bat,  an  arboreal  species,  appears  to  be  similarly 
restricted  in  its  range. 

But  passing  to  the  north  and  west  we  find  distinct,  if 
fragmentary,  evidence  of  a  much  wider  range  than  that  of  the 
larger  species. 

Wales  is  mentioned  as  a  habitat  in  Jenyns'  '  Manual  of 
British  Vertebrates,'  although,  as  the  author  informs  me,  he 
does  not  now  remember  from  what  county  he  heard  of  it ;  but 
Mr.  Storrie,  of  the  Cardiff  Museum,  tells  me  that  he  has  found 
it  near  Bridgend,  Glamorganshire  ;  and  Mr.  Tracy,  of  Pembroke, 
states  that  he  has  frequently  taken  it  at  Stackpoole,  Pembroke- 
shire. A  more  vague  report  from  Denbighshire  I  have  yet  to 
investigate.  [Donovan  found  a  living  specimen  of  this  Bat 
amongst  the  ivy  overhanging  the  mouldering  battlements  of 
Eaglan  Castle,  Monmouthshire  (Brit.  Quadrupeds,  pi.  ii.). — Ed.] 

In  Herefordshire  it  has  been  taken  over  the  kitchens  at 
Sufton  Court,  as  recorded  by  Mr.  E.  M.  Lingwood  (Ann.  &  Mag. 
Nat.  Hist.  1840,  p.  185). 


For  Derbyshire  we  have  the  evidence  of  Sir  Oswakl  Moslej-, 
in  his  '  Natural  History  of  Tutbury,'  that  he  received  many 
si^ecimens  from  "  the  calcareous  caverns  of  Dovedale  and  Mat- 
lock," and  believed  it  to  be  dispersed  over  the  whole  of  the 
limestone  districts  of  the  county. 

In  Nottinghamshire  Mr.  Whitaker  has  not  met  with  it,  but 
Mr.  J.  Eay  Hardy,  of  the  Manchester  Museum,  informs  me  that 
he  picked  up  a  dead  one  from  the  ground  at  Edwinstowe,  in 
Sherwood  Forest,  years  ago,  "  too  far  gone  to  make  a  good 
specimen."  In  sending  me  two  Irish  specimens  he  observed 
that  if  these  are  rightly  named  (as  they  certainly  are)  the 
Nottinghamshire  specimen  was  identical  with  them. 

For  Yorkshire  we  have  the  authority  of  Messrs.  Eoebuck  and 
Clarkson  for  its  occurrence  in  a  cave  at  Eavestone,  near  Eipon 
(see  Zool.  1882,  p.  186,  and  1884,  p.  173),  and  at  Pateley  Bridge 
('  Naturalist,'  1886,  p.  339) ;  and  for  Cheshire,  Byerley's  '  Fauna 
of  Liverpool,'  where  we  learn  that  one  was  taken  at  Storeton 
Quarry,  near  Birkenhead,  about  1834. 

Eenfrewshire  apparently  marks  its  northern  limit.  In  Dr. 
A.  E.  Young's  '  Statistical  Account  of  Eenfrewshire,'  Crookston 
Castle  in  that  county  is  mentioned  as  a  locality,  but  the  late 
Mr.  Alston,  in  his  '  Fauna  of  the  West  of  Scotland '  (p.  7), 
expressed  his  opinion  that  some  mistake  had  been  made  in  the 

The  discovery  of  this  Bat  in  Galway  and  Clare  was  referred 
to  in  the  editorial  remarks  above  mentioned,  and  Mr.  A.  G.  More 
informs  me  that  he  has  himself  taken  it  in  some  numbers,  in  the 
former  county,  in  a  cave  at  Coole  Park,  near  Gort,  the  seat  of 
Sir  W.  Gregory. 

Thanks  to  the  kindness  of  Mr.  Eay  Hardy,  I  am  glad  to  be 
able  to  record  the  occurrence  of  R.  hipposideros  in  the  county  of 
Kerry,  namely,  at  Muckross,  near  Killarney.  "  Both  males  and 
females  were  common,"  he  writes,  "flying  about  the  old  Abbey 
by  hundreds."  He  says : — "  It  was  in  July,  1885 :  I  got  the 
stable-man  to  let  me  go  into  the  hay-loft  at  Mr.  Herbert's 
stables  at  Muckross,  where  they  hung  from  the  beams  above  in 
great  numbers.  With  my  butterfly-net  I  could  have  taken  ten 
at  one  stroke,  and  the  excrement  between  the  joists  of  the  floor 
was  half  an  inch  deep  ;  I  measured  it  carefully.  I  only  got  one 
specimen    of    the    curious   parasite,    Nycteribia   hermanni   {N. 


hiarticulata,  Westwoocl),  though  I  looked  on  scores."  This 
deacriptiou  of  their  haunt  agrees  very  well  with  that  given  by 
Mr.  Tomes  in  Bell's  '  British  Quadrupeds.'  *  Mr.  Hardy  has  lent 
me  two  of  his  Irish  specimens,  one  of  which  measures  9g-  in. 
between  the  tips  of  the  extended  wings,  without  unnatural 
distention.  I  have  a  white  specimen  from  the  collection  of  the 
late  Mr.  Slopur,  of  Devizes. 

On  two  females  of  this  Bat,  taken  by  Mr.  Ingleby  in  the  Eed 
Hole,  Eavestone,  near  Eipon,  on  Christmas  Day,  1885,  I  found 
two  specimens  of  an  orange-coloured  Acarus  (on  the  margin  of 
the  ear  of  one  of  them)  and  two  of  a  Nycterihia,  since  identified 
by  reference  to  Prof.  Westwood's  paper  in  the  Zoological  Society's 
*  Transactions '  (vol.  i.  p.  292)  as  N.  hiarticulata,  Hermann. 
The  same  parasite  was  found  upon  this  Bat  by  Donovan. 
Perhaps  in  hybernation  the  parasite  gains  more  completely  the 
upper  hand.  In  '  The  Zoologist '  for  1861  Dr.  Kinahan  speaks 
of  this  Bat  as  infested  with  a  large  and  "disgusting-looking" 
tick ;  and  the  position  of  the  Acari  agrees  with  that  of  those 
found  on  a  BarhasteUe  by  Mr.  Gurney,  as  described  in  '  The 
Zoologist '  for  1847. 

In  one  of  the  books  I  have  lately  consulted  it  was  mentioned 
that  this  Bat  carried  its  tail  over  its  back,  as  is  shown  in  the 
figure  of  the  Greater  Horse-shoe  Bat  given  in  '  The  Zoologist ' 
for  January.  [This  observation  is  made  by  Couch  (Zool.  1853, 
p.  3941).  In  the  Noctule,  on  the  contrary,  the  tail  is  tucked 
under  it,  just  as  a  dog  puts  its  tail  between  its  legs.  Two  living 
specimens  now  before  us,  as  they  hang  suspended,  look  as  if 
they  were  tailless. — Ed.] 

In  conclusion,  while  thanking  the  many  naturalists  who  have 
answered  my  inquiries,  whether  able  to  help  me  or  not,  I  may 
say  that  I  should  be  glad  to  hear  of  any  new  locality  for  this 
Bat,  or  any  British  species  other  than  the  Pipistrelle,  the  Long- 
eared,  and  the  Noctule.  I  feel  sure  that  if  readers  of  '  The 
Zoologist '  were  to  furnish  the  results  of  their  exi^erience  they 
could  put  on  record  a  better  account  of  the  distribution  of  these 
obscure  animals  in  Britain  than  is  at  present  to  be  found  in  any 
published  work. 

'■^'-  According  to  Dr.  J.  JX.  Kinahan  the  sexes  hybernate  apart.  See  an 
interesting  article  by  him  entitled  "  Three  daj's  among  the  Bats  in  Clare," 
'  Zoologist,'  1861,  pp.  7617-7624.— Ed. 



IN   1886. 

By  Egbert  Gray. 

(Continued  from  p.  57.) 

A  CONTINUATION  of  nortlierly  winds,  strong  generally  to  the 
force  of  a  gale,  had  not  the  effect,  as  might  naturally  be  supposed, 
of  causing  any  remarkable  change  in  the  position  of  the  ice. 
Beyond  a  certain  limit  it  continued  to  remain  close  and  im- 
penetrable. No  blueness  of  the  western  sky  indicated  open 
water  and  invited  approach ;  all  in  that  direction  presented  a 
uniform  and  dazzling  whiteness,  sea  and  sky  !  Along  the  edge  of 
this  impenetrable  mass,  however,  a  belt  of  navigable  ice, 
extending  seawards  some  fifty  miles,  was  gradually  formed.  In 
this  area  we  continued  cruising  in  search  of  whales.  Floes  and 
fields  lay  scattered  about  in  careless-like  confusion  with  packs 
and  streams  of  broken-up  ice ;  Polar  bears  were  seem  almost 
daily,  stalking  about  on  the  ice-fields,  doubtless  attracted  b}'^  the 
vast  numbers  of  Floe-rats  {Phoca  liisjnda).  Narwhals  were  in 
hundreds  to  be  seen  almost  at  all  times  more  or  less  abundant. 
Looms  and  Eotches  there  were  without  number,  Dovekies  {Uria 
grxjlle),  Puffins  {Fratercula  arctica),  Snow-birds,  Burgomasters, 
Kittiwakes  {Rissa  tridactyla),  were  also  numerous ;  the  sea  Avas 
generally  grass-green  in  colour,  and  always  contained  an 
abundance  of  the  various  forms  of  Entomostraca,  Pteropoda, 
Gasteropoda  and  Medusidse,  &c.,  which  go  to  constitute  the 
food  of  the  whale.  Nothing  in  fact  was  wanting  to  comiDlete  a 
perfect  resort  for  the  Greenland  Eight  Whale,  its  food  was  in 
abundance,  the  surroundings  were  apparently  congenial  to  its 
habits,  and  still  more,  the  time  it  was  when  these  animals  are 
wont  to  frequent  this  part  of  the  Arctic  Seas  for  a  considerable 

June  5th.  Spoke  the  s.s.  "  Erik."  Capt.  A.  Gray  told  us 
that  on  the  3rd  inst.,  in  lat.  70°  15'  N.,  2°  30'.  E.,  a  large  Finner 
{B.  sibhaldii)  was  seen  for  several  hours,  feeding  amongst  the  ice 
near  his  ship,  accompanied  by  two  calves. 

June  Gth.     Saw  three  whales  * ;   one  of  these  we  captured,  a 

*It  is  scarcely  necessary  to   explain  that  when  the  word  "whale"   is   used 
B.  mysticetus  is  implied. 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    'ECLIPSE.'  95 

small  bull  (5  ft.  3  in.  bone).  Although  a  small  animal  its  rump 
was  quite  grey.  I  found  the  spaces  between  the  laminae  of 
baleen  to  measure  three-eighths  of  an  inch ;  the  length  of  the 
"hair"  attached  to  their  inner  margins  13  in.,  the  thickness  of 
the  blubber  on  the  body  8  in.,  at  the  neck  decreasing  to  0  in. 
towards  the  tail. 

June  8th.     Narwhals  numerous  with  their  young. 

June  llth.  A  flock  of  Brent  Geese  [Bernicla  brenta), 
consisting  of  at  least  forty  birds,  seen  flying  westward,  very  low, 
across  the  ice.  Large  flocks  of  these  birds  are  to  be  seen  here 
about  this  time,  flying  in  a  similar  direction  every  season. 
Therefore,  if  not  an  open  Polar  sea,  yet  sufficient  open  water 
must  break  out  annually  beyond  the  "  barrier  "  to  warrant  the 
migration,  not  only  of  these  birds,  but  also  (as  has  already  been 
said)  of  Balccna  mysticetus  towards  it.  The  same  day,  while 
reaching  eastwards  from  the  edge  of  the  close-ice,  we  passed 
over  a  number  of  strips  of  water,  alternately  blue  and  green. 

June  12th.  While  sailing  southwards  along  the  edge  of  the 
close-ice,  in  company  with  the  "Erik,"  a  whale  was  seen  coming 
towards  us  from  the  S.E.  Both  vessels  hauled  to  and  lowered 
their  boats.  The  whale  continued  its  course  to  the  N.W., 
towards  the  close-ice,  six  boats  following  in  hot  pursuit.  Owing 
to  the  competition  between  the  two  ships  it  soon  became  evident 
that  all  caution,  all  rules  being  laid  aside,  the  chase  would  either 
prove  a  failure,  or  rashness  would  win  the  day.  Beaching  the 
edge  of  the  close-ice,  the  "fish,"  which  hitherto  had  been 
swimming  at  a  rate  of  five  miles  per  hour,  now  relaxed  its  speed 
and  began  playing  about.  The  first  boat  up  would  get  a  chance  ! 
Towards  it  all  the  boats  directed  their  course,  every  oarsman 
pulling  his  very  utmost ;  a  boat  from  each  ship  led  the  way ; 
neither  had  the  advantage  ;  they  were  rapidly  approaching  within 
shot;  the  harpooners  stood  to  their  guns,  when  the  two  boats 
steering  for  the  same  object  rapidly  closed  with  one  another  and 
unavoidably  came  into  collision.  The  whale  meanwhile  had 
dived,  soon  afterwards  it  reappeared,  again  the  boats  were  almost 
within  shot,  again  it  dived  to  reappear  once  more  before  finally 
dipping  under  a  floe.  This  time  one  of  our  boats  pulled  right  on 
to  its  back,  and  the  harpooner,  depressing  the  gun,  would  un- 
doubtedly have  got  fast,  had  not  the  gun  unfortunately  snapped. 
One  of  the  "Erik's"  boats  had  by  this  time  fired,  but  not  being 


within  range  (20  yards)  the  "  foregoer "  tightened  and  the 
harpoon  fell  short.  The  whale,  a  young  animal,  undoubtedly 
long  ere  this  fully  conscious  of  being  pursued,  at  this  juncture 
seemed  to  forget  itself,  for  moving  too  far  forward,  it  allowed  its 
under  jaw  to  become  shelved  on  a  "  tongue  "  of  ice.  Quickly 
backing  astern,  however,  the  animal  very  soon  cleared  itself  and 
immediately  dived  under  the  ice,  a  small  round  floe.  The  whale 
could  now  only  be  regarded  as  "  scared,"  and  the  chase 
virtually  at  an  end.  Nevertheless,  as  a  slight  hope  remained 
of  the  animal  again  making  its  appearance,  the  boats  took  up 
stations  round  the  floe  and  patiently  waited.  Thirty  minutes 
elapsed  without  its  reappearing,  already  some  of  the  boats  were 
returning  to  their  ships;  forty  minutes  had  just  elapsed,  when  at 
the  very  same  place  where  it  had  first  disappeared  the  animal  was 
seen  coming  out  below  the  ice.  All  the  boats  were  by  this  time 
returning  on  board,  but  the  last  one  to  give  up  the  chase  — 
fortunately  yet  at  no  great  distance, — saw  the  whale  and  imme- 
diately returned.  Thereafter  the  others  followed,  and  the  whale 
was  eventually  harpooned  by  one  of  the  '  Erik's '  boats.  Imme- 
diatel}'^  when  harpooned  the  animal  dived,  taking  out  line  with 
great  rapiditj'-,  and  descending  almost  perpendicularly  downwards. 
Meanwhile  the  boats  took  up  positions  about  the  place  where  they 
expected  the  "  fish  "  to  reappear.  The  whale  having  ran  out 
about  one  mile  of  line,  and  having  probably  descended  to  a 
depth  of  over  500  fathoms,  returned  to  the  surface  some  thirty 
minutes  after  being  harpooned.  Several  boats  being  at  hand, 
second  and  third  harpoons  were  successively  "  fired  in."  The 
whale  now  set  out  along  the  surface,  at  a  rate  of  some  six  miles 
per  hour,  towing,  however,  four  heavy  whale  boats  behind  it. 
Swimming  between  wind  and  water,  it  continued  for  some  time  to 
throw  itself  bodily  forward,  half  of  the  animal  appearing  above 
water,  falling  into  the  sea  again  with  a  dreadful  splash,  at  the 
same  time  rolling  off  one  side  on  to  the  other  as  it  advanced 
forward;  the  pectoral  fins  as  they  alternately  appeared  above 
water  were  raised  erect,  the  tail  was  also  frequentlj^  exposed.  At 
length  becoming  quieter  in  its  movements  and  slower  in  its 
speed,  some  of  the  boats  succeeded  in  getting  up  and  endeavoured 
to  lance.  Their  efforts,  however,  were  on  almost  every  occasion 
frustrated  by  the  animal  turning  upon  the  boats  and  violently 
pushing   them    away   with   its  head.     A  number   of   oars    were 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    '  ECLIPSE.'  97 

broken  and  more  than  one  boat  narrowly  escaped  being  capsized. 
Subsequently  the  whale  received  a  fourth  harpoon,  when,  throwing 
its  tail  high  in  the  air,  it  disappeared.  The  boats  were  patiently 
waiting  its  reappearance,  many  with  some  of  their  oars  broken, 
all  the  seamen  more  or  less  drenched.  Suddenly,  but  slowly  and 
steadily,  the  animal's  tail  was  seen  rising  vertically  upward,  close 
alongside  one  of  the  boats ;  having  reached  a  certain  height,  it 
commenced  to  descend  with  equal  slowness,  rubbing  against  the 
boat's  gunwale  all  the  while,  until  at  length  it  sank  out  of  sight. 
A  few  minutes  afterwards  the  animal  quietly  floated  up  to  the 
surface  dead. 

June  13th.  Life  very  abundant,  Narwhals  and  Floe-rats 
being  particularly  numerous.  Four  Bears  were  shot,  and  several 
others  were  seen  ;  of  the  former  two  were  mother  and  young,  the 
latter,  however,  so  large  as  to  be  scarcely  recognisable  as  a  cub. 
The  same  evening,  while  two  of  these  bear-skins  were  towing 
astern,  a  Narwhal  was  noticed  following  in  the  wake ;  after 
examining  the  bear-skins  it  seized  hold  of  one  of  them  with  its 
mouth  and  commenced  tugging  at  it,  and  if  it  had  not  been  for  a 
timely  rifle-bullet  would  undoubtedly  have  succeeded  in  tearing 
the  skin  to  pieces. 

June  19th.  Laying  in  a  small  "  bight"  in  the  ice-edge,  where 
we  have  been  for  several  days.  Narwhals  have  been  very  abundant, 
visiting  us  regularly  every  morning,  being  always  most  numerous 
about  4  a.m.  A  few  Arctic  Terns,  Sterna  hirundo,  seen  in  the 
morning.  At  night  we  passed  a  small  land-bird  resembling  a 
Snipe  sitting  on  a  piece  of  ice. 

June  21st.  A  heavy  point  of  ice,  which,  hitherto  remaining 
close  and  impenetrable,  had  extended  over  a  considerable  portion 
of  the  whaling-banks,  now  broke  up  and  we  were  enabled  to  reach 
this  part  of  the  ground.  The  water,  although  blue  and  clear, 
contained  a  very  great  abundance  of  whales'  food,  Calanus  Jin- 
viarckicus.  Narwhals  were  playing  about  in  hundreds;  here 
also  had  been  the  Greenland  Right  Whale  quite  recently  and  in  no 
inconsiderable  numbers.  This  we  were  led  to  believe  from  the 
quantities  of  "blowings"  (mucous  discharges  from  the  spiracles 
of  whales)  which  were  lying  about  everywhere  on  the  surface  of 
the  sea.  Some  of  these  blowings  still  shed  a  film  of  oil  around 
them,  and  appeared  to  be  of  no  great  age.  More  convincing 
Still,  perhaps,  amongst  it  there  was  found  the  hard  shell  of  that 

ZOOLOGIST.— MABCH,   1887.  I 


particular  kind  of  parasite  which  is  occasionally  found  infesting 
the  whale.  An  easterly  swell,  the  cause  which  had  been  so 
effective  in  destroying  this  point  of  ice,  had  been  equally  effective 
in  breaking  up  into  pack-ice  the  floes  lying  to  the  westward.  To 
the  refuge  so  formed  the  whales  had  undoubtedly  retreated,  and 
most  likely  were  still  lying  there  perfectly  secure  from  attack. 

Although  undoubtedly  ice-loving  in  its  habits  before  the  inter- 
ference of  man,  the  Greenland  Eight  Whale,  having  there  no 
enemy  to  fear  from  which  it  had  not  the  power  to  escape,  wandered 
seawards  in  quest  of  its  food,  which  in  many  seasons,  owing  to 
the  position  of  the  ice,  is  to  be  found  there  in  the  greatest 
abundance.  Certainly  it  found  a  resort  in  the  bays  and  fiords 
of  Spitzbergen,  which  in  the  stillness  of  their  recesses  closely 
resembled  the  "polynias"  of  its  native  ice-fields.  Although 
necessarily  in  some  seasons  many  miles  from  the  Greenland 
west  ice,  from  the  margin  of  which  I  conceive  it  to  have 
strayed,  Balcena  mysticetus  nevertheless  annually  visited  the 
bays  and  fiords  of  the  western  coast  of  Spitzbergen,  but  only, 
I  presume,  a  visit  in  its  duration  and  date  coincident  with  its 
appearance  at  the  west  margin  of  the  west  ice  in  "  North  Green- 
land," as  already  described.  The  effect  of  the  interference  of 
man  will  now  be  easily  understood.  In  the  bays  and  fiords  of 
Spitzbergen  it  was  first  found,  there  it  was  first  harpooned,  and 
from  thence,  as  being  farthest  from  its  home,  by  continued 
persecution  it  was  first  driven.  To  the  west  ice  it  was  followed, 
there  the  persecution  was  continued,  the  animal  became  still 
more  timid  in  its  habits,  still  more  anxious  of  its  safety,  the 
bays  and  deep  recesses  along  the  margins  of  the  ice  became 
less  frequently  visited,  and  the  Greenland  Right  \^  hale, 
avoiding  open  water  as  dangerous,  regarded  the  heave  of  the 
ocean's  swell  as  the  signal  to  retreat,  and  thus  preferred  to 
remain  amongst  the  close-ice,  knowing  that  while  there  it  was 
secure  beyond  the  reach  of  its  enemies.  In  short,  Balcena 
mysticetus  was  originally  so  ice-loving  in  its  habits,  that  its 
annual  migrations  were  formerly  the  same  as  at  present,  but  that 
by  long  and  continued  persecution  it  has  become  considerably 
more  timid  and  cautious  in  its  habits,  which,  together  with  the 
great  reduction  in  its  numbers,  brought  about  by  the  same 
means,  it  first  ceased  to  visit  the  west  coast  of  Spitzbergen,  its 
appearance  in  the  o^ien  sea  became  an  occurrence  of  increasing 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    'ECLIPSE.'  99 

rarity,  until  at  length  the  open  bays  along  the  margin  of  the  ice 
have  almost  ceased  to  be  visited,  and  the  Greenland  Whale  of 
the  present  day  seldom  leaves  the  protection  afforded  by  the 
close-ice.  Further,  that  the  extent  of  sea  covered  by  ice  broken 
up  by  the  action  of  swell  ("  pack-ice")  and  impenetrable  to  ships 
is  in  most  seasons  of  vast  extent,  and  if  to  this  area  be  added  the 
polynias  or  open  spaces  of  water,  large  and  small,  which  there  is 
every  reason  to  believe  break  out  amongst  the  floes,  the  former 
only  at  certain  times  and  in  certain  places,  the  latter  perhaps 
always  and  everywhere,  it  will  be  seen  that  with  whatever  zeal 
and  perseverance  its  persecution  is  continued,  an  area  of  sufficient 
extent  will  always  remain  unpenetrated,  in  which  the  Greenland 
Whale,  enjoying  immunity  from  attack,  will  continue  to  exist  in 
sufficient  numbers  to  remove  the  possibility  of  its  ever  becoming 
exterminated  ;  and  that  its  present  apparent  exceeding  scarcity 
in  the  Greenland  Seas  is  to  be  ascribed  to  the  seclusiveness  of 
its  habits  and  its  prefei'ence  to  remain  amongst  close  impenetrable 
ice  rather  than  to  the  species  becoming  extinct. 

June  24th.  One  Great  Skua,  Stercorarius  catarrhactes,  seen ; 
also  a  small  bird  about  the  size  of  a  Swallow,  with  a  reddish 
throat  and  brown  wings. 

June  25th.  Sailing  southwards  along  the  ice-edge,  the  wind 
light  from  the  eastward,  a  really  dreadful  swell  from  the  S.E. 
running.  The  '  Erik,'  then  in  our  company,  at  the  distance  of 
only  half  a  mile,  was  being  taken  completely  out  of  our  sight, 
masts  and  all,  as  she  sank  in  the  trough  of  the  sea  ;  a  strong 
gale  from  the  S.E.  had  recently  been  blowing.  The  efi^ect  of  such 
a  swell  on  the  neighbouring  ice  is  to  be  imagined  rather  than 
described ;  at  a  distance  of  four  or  five  miles  the  noise  was 
sufficiently  appalling  to  forbid  nearer  approach.  6  p.m.,  being  in 
lat.  78°  10'  N.  and  long.  1°  W.,  a  Chimney  Swift,  Chtetura  pelasgia, 
was  noticed  sitting  on  one  of  the  yards.  A  seaman  went  aloft, 
and  finding  it  asleep  brought  it  down  in  his  hand.  The  bird  was 
very  much  exhausted — in  fact,  almost  dead.  I  suppose  it  had 
been  carried  across  from  Norway  by  the  recent  gale.  A  few 
Arctic  Puffins  seen  ;  they  are  not  common  so  far  from  land.  The 
North  Greenland  whaling  was  now  over  for  the  season,  and  we 
were  steei'ing  southwards  along  the  ice-edge  towards  the  South 
Greenland  whaling-grounds.  These  lie  to  the  southward  of  the 
75th  parallel  of  latitude   and  to   the   eastward  of  the  coast  of 


Greenland ;  it  may  also  be  added  that  this  region  is  limited 
to  the  southward  and  eastward  by  the  ice-edge,  and  that  the 
South  Greenland  whales  are  generally  killed  to  the  westward 
of  the  meridian  of  Jan  Mayen,  and  to  the  northward  of  the 
70th  parallel.  The  fishing  is  extremely  uncertain ;  in  some 
seasons  the  ice  is  so  far  to  the  eastward  as  to  prevent  the  ships 
getting  within  several  hundreds  of  miles  of  the  ground,  in  others  it 
is  so  far  west  that  the  swell  is  able  to  reach  the  ice  lying  on  the 
ground,  and  convert  it  into  an  impenetrable  pack,  and  thus, 
although  the  ships  are  able  to  reach  the  locality,  unless  the  winds 
prevail  from  the  S.W.  and  keep  the  ice  open,  they  are  almost  as 
helpless  as  before.  If,  however,  the  ice  is  not  too  far  to  the 
eastward,  and  is  navigable  as  far  west  as  the  ground,  whales  are 
occasionally  found  here  in  comparatively  great  numbers,  and 
good  cargoes  are  sometimes  obtained.  The  appearance  of 
whales  so  far  south  at  this  time  of  the  year,  apparently  in  direct 
contradiction  to  their  migx-ation  northwards  earlier  in  the  season, 
as  already  stated,  is  somewhat  difficult  of  explanation.  It  may, 
however,  be  interesting  to  know : — (1)  That  the  greater  propor- 
tion (about  90  per  cent.)  of  the  whales  killed  here  are  full-grown 
males ;  (2)  that  they  have  been  followed  south-westwards  from 
the  North  Greenland  grounds,  from  which  they  are  frequently 
seen  departing  about  the  month  of  June ;  (3)  that  this  class  of 
old  whales  sometimes  never  migrate  northwards,  and  consequently 
remain  on  the  South  Greenland  grounds  during  the  whole  season 
(May  to  September) ;  (4)  that  in  some  years  the  South  Greenland 
grounds  are  completely  deserted  early  in  the  season,  or  at  any 
rate  no  whales  are  seen  there  dm-ing  the  summer.  The  ice 
undoubtedly  plays  a  most  important  part  in  influencing  these 
migrations,  but  the  exact  manner  in  which  this  is  effected  has  yet 
to  be  explained. 

[With  the  concluding  portion  of  this  article  we  hope  to  give, 
in  our  next  number,  a  good  figure  of  Balana  mysticetus,  from  a 
careful  drawing  by  Capt.  David  Gray. — Ed.] 

(To  be  continued.) 

(     101     ) 


By  George  Dimmook. 

Insects  are  generally  considered  to  be  beneficial  to  fishes  by 
furnishing  them  one  of  the  most  unfailing  sources  of  food.  There 
are,  however,  a  few  insects  which  are  injurious  to  fishes,  thus 
making  an  exception  to  the  rule.  DeGeer  published  a  statement, 
in  1774,  that  the  larvae  of  dragonflies  (Libellulidse)  would  seize 
and  kill  fishes,  a  statement  confirmed  by  Dale  in  1832.  Von 
Miitzschefahl,  in  1778-79,  mentions  several  aquatic  insects 
which  attacked  the  Perch,  among  them  two  species  of  water- 
beetles  (Dytiscidse)  and  two  species  of  water-bugs  {Notonecta 
glauca  and  Nepa  linearis,  now  called  Ranatra  linearis).  The 
destruction  of  young  fishes  by  water-beetles  has  since  been 
noted  by  Elles  in  1830,  by  Dale  in  1832,  and  by  Riley  in  1885. 
In  regard  to  the  water- bugs,  observations  published  within  the 
past  few  years  have  not  only  confirmed  the  above-mentioned 
earlier  statements,  but  other  bugs  have  been  discovered  to  attack 
fishes.  Leidy,  as  early  as  1847,  writes  that  species  of  Belostoma 
and  Perthostoma  (Zaitha)  prey  upon  fishes.  Glover,  in  1875, 
states  that  Ranatra  quadridenticulata  and  Belostoma  americanum 
feed  on  small  fishes,  and  that  Nepa  apiculata  probably,  and 
Notonecta  instdaris  possibly,  do  the  same.  Milner,  in  1876,  writes 
that  Belostoma  grande  captures  and  eats  fishes.  Miss  Ormerod, 
in  1878,  describes  how  Ranatra  linearis  attacks  fishes ;  the  same 
year  Peck  called  attention  to  the  destruction  of  the  eggs  of  Carp 
by  the  same  insect.  Turner,  the  next  year,  mentions  the  killing 
of  young  Sticklebacks  in  an  aquarium  by  Belostoma.  Leonard 
notices  the  showing,  at  the  Edinburgh  Fisheries  Exhibition  in 
1882,  of  a  preparation  by  Hugh  D.  McGovern,  of  Brooklyn, 
N.  Y.,  of  a  year-old  Trout,  "  surmounted  by  the  fish-eating  bug, 
Belostoma  grandis,"  which  was  in  the  act  of  killing  the  fish  by 
piercing  its  head  ;  and  Todd,  the  same  year,  describes  how  a 
Belostoma,  about  three-quarters  of  an  inch  long,  was  seen  to 
vanquish  a  fish  three  or  four  times  its  own  length.  Uhler,  in 
1884,  states  that  Ranatra  destroys  the  eggs  of  fishes,  and  some- 
times attacks  the  young  fishes  themselves  and  sucks  their  blood. 
Writing  of  Belostoma  grande,  the  giant  species  of  this  genus, 
that  is  found  in  tropical  America,  he  states  that,  "  It  is  a 
formidable  monster  in  the  pools  of  Demerara,  where  it  lurks  on 



the  bottom  of  the  muddy  pools  which  match  its  colour,  ever 
ready  to  grasp  the  unwary  fish  in  the  cruel  embrace  of  its  sharp 
hooked  fore-legs,  there  to  remain  fixed  until  life  becomes  extinct 
with  the  outflow  of  its  blood."  This  author  adds,  "  Scarcely 
less  rapacious  are  the  species  inhabiting  the  United  States. 
One  of  these,  B.  grisea,  is  the  facile  master  of  the  ponds  and 
estuaries  of  the  tidal  creeks  and  rivers  of  the  Atlantic  States. 
Developing  in  the  quiet  pools,  secreting  itself  beneath  stones  or 
rubbish,  it  watches  the  approach  of  a  Pomotis,  mud-minnow, 
frog,  or  other  small-sized  tenant  of  the  water,  when  it  darts  with 
sudden  rapidity  upon  its  unprepared  victim,  grasps  the  creature 
with  its  strong,  clasping  fore-legs,  plunges  its  deadly  beak  deep 
into  the  flesh,  and  proceeds  with  the  utmost  coolness  to  leisurely 
suck  its  blood.  A  copious  supply  of  saliva  is  poured  into 
the  wound,  and  no  doubt  aids  in  producing  the  paralysis  which 
so  speedily  follows  its  puncture  in  small  creatures." 

That  the  loss  of  fish  due  to  these  insects  is  considerable 
seems  quite  probable,  because,  notwithstanding  their  secluded 
habits,  they  are  not  rarely  to  be  seen  about  ponds,  sometimes 
even  in  the  act  of  taking  fishes.  The  following  quotation  from  a 
letter  from  Mr.  E.  A.  Brackett,  of  Winchester,  Mass.,  Chairman 
of  the  Commissioners  on  Inland  Fisheries  for  Massachusetts, 
under  date  of  Dec.  16th,  1886,  will  illustrate  this  fact.  He 
writes,  "  In  October  last,  while  drawing  ofi'  the  Carp-pond,  the 
water  became  very  roily,  and  I  noticed  several  young  Carp  moving 
on  the  surface,  sidewise,  evidently  propelled  by  some  external 
force.  With  a  dip-net  I  took  these  young  fish  out,  and  found 
that  in  every  case  they  were  firmly  held  by  a  water-bug.  The 
fish  were  dead,  and  the  bugs  apparently  had  been  feeding  on 
them.  I  had  no  means  of  determining  how  many  of  these 
bugs  were  in  the  pond." 

The  largest,  and  without  doubt  the  most  dangerous  to  fishes, 
of  these  water-bugs,  are  those  which  belong  to  the  family, 
Belostomidse.  It  is  especially  of  these  Belostomidae  that  this 
paper  treats.  In  the  north-eastern  United  States  the  common 
forms  of  these  bugs  belong  to  the  genera,  Zaitha,  Belostoma  and 
Benacus.  The  form  of  insects  belonging  to  the  genus  Belostoma, 
is  elongated  oval,  and  their  considerably  flattened  form  and  large 
size,  serves  to  distinguish  them  from  all  the  other  before- 
mentioned    water-bugs,    except    those    belonging    to    the    genus 


Nepa,  and  from  them  they  are  easily  distinguished  by  the  fact 
that  the  body  of  Nejxi  terminates  in  a  long  tube  formed  by  the 
apposition  of  two  grooved  appendages  ;  through  this  tube  the 
insect  obtains  air  for  breathing,  while  the  species  of  Belostnma 
have  no  such  tube.  The  form  in  Zaitha  is  like  that  of  Belostoma, 
but  the  species  are  smaller.  In  Benacus,  another  closely  allied 
genus,  of  which  the  sole  species,  B.  haldemamim,  is  found  in  the 
United  States,  the  femur  of  each  fore-leg  lacks  the  groove  on  its 
forward  side, — a  groove  which  is  present  in  the  species  of 
Belostoma,  and  which  serves  for  the  partial  reception  of  the  tibia 
when  the  fore-leg  is  folded  up.  The  genera  Zaitha  and  Benacus 
formerly  wei'e  considered  to  be  a  part  of  the  genus  Belostoma. 

Insects  of  the  family  Belostomidae  are  abundant  in  nearly  all 
parts  of  the  tropical  and  temperate  zones  of  both  hemispheres, 
except  in  Europe,  where  they  are  extremely  rare  ;  but,  as  a. 
general  rule,  these  insects  are  larger  the  warmer  the  climate  in 
which  they  live.  Individual  specimens  of  Belostoma  grande  are 
sometimes  found  in  tropical  America,  which  measure  four  inches 
in  length,  and  B.  gr'iseum,  which  is  found  in  the  northern 
United  States,  attains  a  length  of  three  and  a  half  inches.  The 
young  of  this  species  when  only  two  days  from  the  egg  measured, 
according  to  Packard,  a  third  of  an  inch  in  length. 

The  colour  of  the  species  of  Belostomidse  is  brown,  of  a 
greater  or  less  depth,  or  of  a  yellowish  or  a  greenish  shade. 
Partially  covered  with  mud,  they  are  diflBcult  to  discover.  The 
sexes  are  not  easy  to  distinguish  from  one  another,  except  that 
females  can  at  times  be  distinguished  by  the  eggs  which  they  carry. 

These  large  insects  are  not  only  provided  with  powerful  fore- 
legs which  they  use  to  seize  their  prey,  and  strong,  somewhat 
oar-shaped  hind-legs  for  swimming;  but,  when  full-grown,  they 
have  strong  wings  and  are  capable  of  long-sustained  flight.  By 
their  flights,  which,  as  in  most  aquatic  Hemiptera,  take  place 
at  night,  these  insects  pass  from  one  pond  to  another.  This 
insures  them  a  wide  distribution,  and  makes  their  extermination 
a  difficult  matter.  Living,  as  they  often  do,  in  pools  which  dry 
up  at  certain  seasons  of  the  year,  this  provision  for  flight  is  a 
necessity  of  their  existence.  That  these  flights  are  often  long 
and  high  is  proved  by  the  fact  that  the  bugs  have  been  found  in 
the  midst  of  large  cities,  far  from  any  pond  or  pool,  upon  the 
roofs  of  three  and  four  story  blocks.     It  is  probable  that  they 



are  found  in  these  situations  from  having  been  attracted  to  the 
reflecting  surfaces  of  sky-lights,  for  it  is  well  known  that  water- 
beetles,  with  their  imperfect  sight,  mistake  large  expanses  of 
glass,  such  as  are  presented  by  greenhouses,  for  sheets  of  water. 
Especially  attractive,  however,  to  these  large  water-bugs  are 
electric  lights,  and  notices  have  appeared  in  the  daily  press 
of  the  swarming  of  these,  as  well  as  other  insects,  about  the 
electric  lights  of  cities.  In  flight,  as  Mr.  Brackett  states  in  the 
letter  from  which  I  have  already  quoted,  the  species  of  Belosto- 
midse  which  he  observed  can  rise  directly  from  the  surface  of 
the  water. 

These  insects  differ,  according  to  the  species,  as  to  their  mode 
of  egg-laying.  Some,  like  the  common  Zaitha  fluminea  of  our 
northern  waters,  lay  their  eggs  on  their  own  backs.  In  my 
'  collection  I  have  a  specimen  of  this  species,  which  has  her  back 
almost  entirely  covered  b,y  a  nicely-arranged  layer  of  elongated- 
oval  dark-brown  eggs,  which  number  over  175.  These  eggs 
are  set  nicely  upon  one  end,  and  placed  in  transverse  rows, 
by  means  of  a  long  protrusile  tube,  or  ovipositor,  which  the 
insect  can  extend  far  over  her  own  back.  This  mode  of  oviposi- 
tion  insures  the  safety  of  the  eggs  until  the  young  are  hatched, 
The  eggs  are  fastened  to  the  back  of  the  naother  by  a  very  thin 
layer  of  a  waterproof  gum  secreted  by  the  insect.  The  entire 
layer  of  eggs  is  apt  to  split  from  the  insects  when  they  are  dried, 
and  consequently  is  rarely  seen  in  collections  of  insects.  The 
young  bug  hatches  from  its  egg  by  means  of  cutting  out  a 
round  lid  from  the  top  of  the  egg,  and,  at  about  the  time  when 
the  young  brood  begins  to  hatch,  the  mother  sheds  the  entire 
layer  of  eggs  fi'om  her  back,  something  as  she  would  moult  her 
skin  during  growth.  It  is  probable  that  all  the  species  of 
Zaitha  carry  their  eggs  about  with  them,  while,  on  the  other 
hand,  some,  if  not  all,  the  species  of  Belostoma  deposit  their 
eggs  in  masses,  under  boards  and  logs,  near  the  margins  of  the 
pools  which  they  inhabit. 

The  young,  upon  hatching  from  the  eggs,  go  immediately  on 
their  predaceous  course,  often  feeding  at  first  on  young  snails. 
As  is  true  of  most  Hemiptera — the  bugs  pi'operly  speaking — the 
young  differ  little  from  the  adults  except  in  the  absence  of  wings 
in  the  former.  In  Belostoma  the  young,  liowever,  have  two 
claws  on  the  tarsi  of  the  fore-legs,  while  as  adults  tliey  have  only 


one  tarsal  claw  in  the  same  place.  It  is  not  certainly  known, 
but  it  is  likely  that  these  insects  reach  their  full  growth  in  a 

In  seizing  upon  fishes  or  other  small  animals  these  insects 
grasp  their  prey  with  their  fore-feet,  holding  it  firmly  in  their 
claws,  then  piercing  it  with  their  beak  or  proboscis  ;  for  they  only 
suck  blood,  not  being  able,  as  is  the  case  with  water-beetles,  to 
eat  the  whole  animal.  The  proboscis  consists  of  stout  horny 
setee  or  bristles,  which  fit  closely  together  to  form  a  fine  sucking- 
tube,  while  the  exhaustion  is  performed  by  means  of  a  muscular, 
extensible  pharynx,  or  throat.  As  is  probably  the  case  with  all 
carnivorous  Hemiptera,  only  living  prey  is  acceptable  to  these 
insects.  The  predaceous  water-bugs  are  said  to  destroy  the 
eggs  of  fishes,  although  further  confirmation  of  this  statement  is 

When  the  water-bugs  attack  other  animals  it  is  noticeable 
that  tlie  prey  dies  much  quicker  than  it  would  normally  do,  from 
simply  the  loss  of  blood  consequent  upon  the  sucking  of  the 
bug,  so  it  is  generally  supposed  that  these  insects  inject  a 
poisonous  secretion  through  their  proboscis  into  the  wound  they 
make.  Most  of  tbese  insects  inflict  severe  stings  in  self-defence, 
if  they  are  handled  too  freely,  using  the  proboscis  for  this 
purpose.  Leidy  has  described  the  salivary  glands  of  Belostoma, 
which  are  well  developed  (Journ.  Acad.  Nat.  Sci.  Philad.  1847, 
p.  57),  and  it  is  the  secretion  of  these  glands  that  poisons  the 
prey  when  pierced  by  the  proboscis. 

To  destroy  the  bugs  that  attack  fishes  is  not  an  easy  matter. 
The  water-beetles  can  be  trapped  by  the  use  of  decaying 
animal  matter,  of  which  they  are  very  fond.  I  have  seen  a 
dead  rat  in  a  small  pond  surrounded  by  a  great  number  of  these 
beetles  (Dytiscidas),  and  they  prefer  such  food  to  living  prey. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  water-bugs  will  take  only  living  food, 
so  that  their  entrapping  by  any  bait  would  be  difficult. 

The  use  of  poison  for  aquatic  Hemiptera  seems  also  impracti- 
cable. Water-bugs  are  so  much  hardier  than  fish,  that  nothing 
dissolved  in  the  water  would  injure  them  that  would  not  prove 
dangerous  for  the  fish.* 

*  Abridged  from  the  '  Annual  Report  of  the  Fish  and  Game  Commis- 
sioners of  Massachusetts,  1886.' 



Death  of  Mr.  Robert  Gray.— The  name  of  the  author  of  'The  Birds 
of  the  West  of  Scotland '  will  be  well  known  to  our  readers,  who,  we  feel 
sure,  will  hear  with  regret  of  his  deatli,  which  took  place  in  Edinburgh  on 
February  18th.  The  son  of  a  merchant  in  Dunbar,  Mr.  Gray  early  in  life 
entered  the  service  of  the  City  of  Glasgow  Bank,  where  he  rose  by  his 
ability  to  the  position  of  Inspector  of  Branches.  It  was  during  his  journeys 
tlirough  the  country  in  that  capacity,  and  especially  in  the  Western  High-_ 
lands,  that  he  obtained  much  of  the  information  about  birds  which  he 
afterwards  published  in  his  work  above  named.  From  the  position  of 
Inspector  of  Branches  he  was  promoted  to  be  Manager  of  the  West  End 
Branch  of  the  City  of  Glasgow  Bank  in  Glasgow,  which  position  he  occupied 
until  he  accepted  (about  twelve  years  ago)  the  post  of  Superintendent  of 
Branches  of  the  Bank  of  Scotland.  After  having  filled  that  appointment 
for  some  years,  he  became  Cashier  to  the  Bank  at  their  head  office  ia 
Edinburgh,  and  in  that  capacity  he  has  ever  since  been  well  and  favourably 
known.  He  was  a  Vice-President  of  the  Royal  Society  of  Edinburgh,  and 
Secretary  to  the  Royal  Physical  Society.  To  naturalists  his  name  will  be 
best  known  by  his  little  book  '  The  Birds  of  Ayrshire  and  Wigtownshire' 
(1869),  in  which  he  was  assisted  by  Mr.  Thomas  Anderson,  and  his  larger 
and  more  important  work,  '  The  Birds  of  the  West  of  Scotland,'  published 
in  1871,  and  it  is  to  be  regretted  that  he  did  not  live  to  carry  out  the 
project  which  he  had  in  hand  of  bringing  out  a  second  edition  of  this,  and  of 
publishing,  in  conjunction  with  Mr.  W.  Evans,  of  Edinburgh,  a  companion 
volume  on  the  Birds  of  the  East  of  Scotland. 


Dormice  in  a  Garden.- -Some  Dormice  took  up  their  abode  last  year 
in  an  old  Blackbird's  nest  in  this  garden.  The  nest  was  placed  in  a  thorn 
bush  about  eight  feet  from  the  ground.  The  Dormice  showed  themselves 
readily  on  the  trunk  near  the  nest  on  the  tree  being  tapped  ;  but  soon  after 
their  discovery  they  disappeared  altogether,  owing,  I  am  afraid,  to  their  being 
too  constantly  visited. — E.  P.  Laeken  (Gatton  Tower,  Reigate). 

Bats  in  Captivity.— On  the  17th  January  I  found  a  dead  Vespertilio 
pipistrellus,  without  any  external  injury,  in  the  fork  of  a  laburnum  tree, 
about  four  feet  from  the  ground.  It  had  evidently  come  out  from  its  winter 
retreat  and  succumbed  to  the  cold.  I  once  captured  one  of  these  small 
Bats  in  my  bedroom  on  the  27th  August,  and  it  lived  in  captivity  for  nearly 
three  weeks.  I  fed  it  on  tiies  and  moths,  the  latter  of  which  it  i-elished  the 
most.    It  was  very  partial  to  raw  meat,  which  it  devoured  ravenously  when 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  107 

presented  to  it.  I  tried  the  experiment  of  putting  butterflies  into  its  cage, 
but  these  it  never  touched.  At  the  beginning  of  August  last  I  discovered 
a  colony  of  the  species  V.  noctula  in  a  hollow  branch  of  a  sycamore  tree. 
In  order  to  ascertain  their  species  I  resorted  to  the  method  of  smoking 
them  out  with  brown  paper;  upon  the  smoke  reaching  them  they  came 
scrambling  out  of  their  aperture  gnashing  their  little  white  teeth  like  so 
many  furies,  and  making  a  great  squeaking.  More  than  a  dozen  succeeded 
in  making  good  their  escape  before  I  captured  one,  owing  to  the  awkward 
position  of  their  abode.  There  were  numbers  of  others  in  the  hole,  but 
directly  they  appeared  at  the  aperture  and  saw  me,  they  beat  a  hasty 
retreat,  and  nothing  would  induce  them  to  venture  forth  again.  The  one 
I  caught  I  placed  on  the  lawn  to  test  the  accuracy  of  the  common  assertion 
that  "Bats  rise  with  much  difficulty  fom  the  ground,'"  and  was  much 
surprised  with  what  ease  it  took  wing.  It  scrambled  about  a  foot  along 
the  turf,  then  rose  in  the  air,  and  was  soon  lost  to  sight,  being  in  no  wise 
confused  by  the  sun,  which  was  then  shining  brilliantly.  This  species  is 
very  common  about  the  Vale  of  Aylesbury. — F.  Haywakd  Paruott  (Walton 
House,  Aylesbury). 


On  the  Wing-spur  of  the  Coot,  Moorhen,  and  Water  Rail.— On 
examining  a  nestling  Moorhen  a  year  or  two  ago  I  was  surprised  to  find 
a  perfect  hook  or  claw  at  the  exiremity  of  each  of  the  bastard  wings.  With 
the  exception  of  the  new  edition  of  '  Yarrell,'  and  '  The  Naturahsts'  Librarv,' 
no  ornithological  work  in  my  posssesion  makes  mention  of  this  fact.  The 
allusion  in  Yarrell's  '  British  Birds '  is  as  follows : — "  Moorhen.  Wings  .  .  . 
armed  with  a  small  sharp  recumbent  spine."  Jardine  states  : — "  Gallinula. 
Generic  characters ;  wings  .  .  .  carpal  joint  armed  with  a  spine."  Neither 
of  these  authors  even  hint  at  the  idea  of  Coots  and  Water  Rails  possessing 
the  spine  in  either  a  greater  or  less  degree.  In  tiie  Moorhen  it  is  white, 
reflexed  (or  claw-shaped)  and  sharp.  In  the  Water  Kail  it  is  horn-coloured, 
straight,  and  blunt.  What  is  its  true  use  or  raison  d'etre?  The  Horned 
Screamer,  Palamedea  cornuta,  is  similarly  armed,  as  is  also  the  Spur-winged 
Goose,  although  1  am  not  certain  as  to  the  exact  position  of  tlie  spurs  in 
the  last  two  cases.  The  spine  must  be  intended  to  serve  as  a  weapon  of 
offence  or  defence,  or  may  be  intended  for  pacific  purposes  only, — as  a  boat- 
hook  ;  or,  as  the  Moorhen  is  known  to  use  its  wings  in  diving,  these  hooks 
may  then  be  brought  into  play,  or  they  may  be  of  assistance  in  keeping  the 
rest  of  tlie  body  submerged  when  the  beak  and  nostrils  only  are  i^rotruded 
above  the  surface  of  the  water  to  obtain  a  breath  of  fresh  air  "  in  rebus 
adversis."  Or  is  this  a  case  of  evolution?  The  "claw"  is  certainly  most 
rudimentary  in  the  Water  Rail,  which  is  the  most  averse  to  flying  of  either 
of  the  three  birds  mentioned.  Is  it  that  these  birds  are  now  evolving  a 
second  pair  of  leg:> !    or,  vice  versa,  a  pel  feet  (t.  e.  a  toeiess  and  toe-nailless) 


pair  of  wings  from  a  former  second  pair  of  feet?  Certainly  this  claw  is  not 
a  temporary  natural  appendage  such  as  the  nib  on  the  beak  of  a  newly- 
hatched  chick,  or  the  tail  aud  two-chambered  heart  of  the  tadpole.  What 
then  is  its  use? — Maurice  C.  H.  Bird  (West  Rudham,  Norfolk). 

[Our  correspondent  should  read  an  article  "  On  the  Claws  and  Spurs 
on  Birds'  Wings,"  by  Mr.  J.  A.  Jeffries  (Proc.  Boston  Soc.  Nat.  Hist. 
]  881,  p.  301) ;  and  another  with  the  same  title  by  Mr.  P.  L.  Sclater, 
puWished  in  '  The  Ibis  '  for  April,  1886,  pp.  147-151.— Ed.] 

Note  on  Eider  Ducks. — On  reading  Mr.  A.  H.  Chapman's  article  in 
'  The  Zoologist'  for  January  last  "  On  the  Habits  aud  Migrations  of  Wild- 
fowl," I  was  especially  interested  in  his  remarks  on  what  he  calls  "a  most 
extraordinary  feat  performed  by  Eiders"  (p.  13).  On  firing  at  the  leading 
bird  of  four  flying  in  company  all  dropped  to  the  shot,  although  only  the 
first  was  killed.  During  my  stay  of  two  years  (1881-3)  in  Arctic  Alaska, 
with  the  U.S.  Signal  Service  Expedition  to  Point  Barrow,  I  had  ample 
opportunity  for  observing  the  habits  of  a  different  species  of  Eider,  the 
King  Eider,  Somateria  spectabilis,  very  abundant  in  that  locality  during  the 
migrations,  and  frequently  observed  a  somewhat  similar  performance. 
I  have  made  a  brief  reference  to  this  observation  in  ray  report  on  the  birds 
of  the  expedition  (Report  U.S.  International  Polar  Expedition  to  Point 
Barrow,  1885,  p.  120),  The  King  Eiders,  when  migrating  northwards, 
pass  Point  Barrow  during  May  and  June  in  enormous  flocks.  They  have 
already  paired  before  reaching  the  Point,  and  travel  (to  quote  my  words  in 
the  passage  referred  to)  in  "  pairs,  flying  alternately,  ducks  and  drakes. 
If  a  duck  is  shot  down,  the  drake  almost  invariably  follows  her  to  the  ice, 
apparently  supposing  that  she  had  alighted."  In  such  cases  the  drake 
drops  so  suddenly  that  more  than  once  we  were  deceived  when  shooting 
Eiders,  and,  running  in  to  pick  up  our  two  birds,  were  surprised  to  find 
the  drake,  who  was  sitting  flat  ou  the  ice  with  his  head  up  like  a  wounded 
bird,  suddenly  "  pull  himself  together "  and  make  off  unhurt,  before  we 
could  collect  our  senses  sufficiently  to  secure  him  with  the  second  barrel. 
Dr.  Leonhard  Stejneger,  of  the  U.S.  National  Museum,  who  spent  a  year 
on  Behring  Island,  informs  me  that  he  has  witnessed  a  similar  performance 
by  Steller's  Duck,  Eniconetta  stelleri.  I  had  supposed  that  this  peculiar 
feat  was  only  performed  by  paired  birds,  but  Mr.  Chapman's  observation 
goes  to  show  that  other  influences  than  those  of  sex  may  induce  the  Eiders 
to  indulge  in  this  extraordinary  game  of  "  follow  my  leader." — John 
Murdoch  (U.S.  National  Museum,  Washington,  D.C.). 

Partridges  with  white  "Horse-shoes."— When  shooting,  on  the  20th 
September,  just  over  the  Northamptonshire  boundary,  I  shot  a  Partridge 
which  had  the  horseshoe  pure  white,  with  the  exception  of  a  spot  or  two  of 
faint  chestnut  at  the  upper  end,  imperceptible  until  the  feathers  were  lifted. 


It  was  a  bird  of  the  year,  having  almost  completed  its  moult.  For  two  or 
three  years  I  have  noticed  that  the  birds  on  a  certain  farm  in  Oxfordshire, 
not  far  from  where  the  bird  in  question  was  killed,  have  a  good  deal  of  white 
mixed  with  the  ordinary  chestnut  of  the  horseshoe,  and  the  proportion  of 
white  seems  to  be  increasing  year  by  year,  some  birds  killed  this  season 
showing  about  an  even  amount  of  white  and  brown.  The  bird  shot  the 
other  day  is,  however,  the  first  I  have  ever  heard  of  about  here  with  a  quite 
white  mark.  The  first  of  this  variety  I  ever  saw  was  sent  to  a  stuffer 
in  Banbury  in  1879,  and  was  killed,  I  believe,  in  Bedfordshire;  it  was 
considered  a  great  rarity.  In  Nottinghamshire,  Mr.  Whitaker  tells  me 
that  the  birds  with  white  horseshoe  are  often  met  with,  but  the  abundance  of 
Partridges  in  that  countv  would  partly  account  for  this.  Mr.  Whitaker  has 
skins  of  some  curious  dark-coloured  birds,  also  procured  there. — Oliver  V. 
Aplin  (Bloxham,  near  Banbury,  Oxon). 

Usefulness  of  the  Rook  in  destroying  Caterpillars. —  A  notable 
instance  of  tbe  usefulness  of  the  Rook  has  recently  come  under  my  own 
observation  in  Sutton  Park.  During  the  summer  almost  every  oak  tree 
in  the  woods  is  stripped  of  its  leaves  by  the  larva  of  a  lepidopterous  insect 
known  to  lepidopterists  as  Hybernia  defoUaria,  and  locally  known  as  the 
Oak  or  Autumn  Moth.  The  imago  of  this  insect  makes  its  appearance 
during  the  autumn  and  winter  months,  from  the  end  of  September  to  the 
middle  of  January.  The  males,  in  the  daytime,  may  be  seen  at  rest  on  the 
trunks  of  trees,  generally  in  great  abundance;  but  the  females,  which 
resemble  spiders,  are  seldom  observed,  because  they  effectually  hide  them- 
selves in  the  crevices  of  the  bark  and  under  leaves,  and  only  stir  about  at 
night,  when  they  deposit  their  eggs.  In  April  the  young  caterpillars  hatch 
and  crawl  up  the  branches  of  the  trees,  commencing  at  once  to  devour  the 
buds  as  they  open.  As  the  leaves  expand  they  grow  correspondingly,  until 
they  reach  the  length  of  a  little  more  than  an  inch.  After  a  shower  of  rain 
or  a  little  wind  thousands  of  these  caterpillars,  becoming  alarmed,  let  them- 
selves down  by  their  webs,  and  remain  suspended  for  hours  in  mid-air 
swinging  to  and  fro  in  the  breeze.  Everyone  going  through  the  woods 
during  the  months  of  May  and  June  experiences  the  unpleasantness  of 
constantly  coming  into  contact  with  their  webs,  and  the  incessant  itching 
of  the  hands  and  face  occasioned  thereby.  Indeed  to  many  persons  this 
annoyance  causes  them  to  avoid  the  woods  during  this  part  of  the  year. 
The  caterpillars  continue  to  feed  until  about  the  middle  of  July,  by  which 
time  they  have  stripped  nearly  every  oak  tree  of  its  leaves,  and  caused  it  to 
look  as  if  winter  had  overtaken  it.  During  the  last  few  years  these  insect- 
pests  have  not  contented  themselves  with  stripping  the  oaks,  but  have 
attacked  indiscriminately  mountain  ash,  bilberry,  brake  fern,  and  all  low- 
lying  vegetation.  No  artificial  means  could  effectually  cope  with  such  a 
wide  area  as  the  one  attacked.     The  only  remedy  is  to  let  Nature  take  her 


own  course.  Immediately  after  the  breeding-season  Rooks,  with  their 
newly-fledged  young,  fly  off  to  the  woods,  where  they  remain  for  several 
weeks,  where  amongst  these  caterpillars  they  obtain  an  abundance  of  food 
without  any  trouble.  All  day  long  these  birds  may  be  seen,  in  company  with 
large  flocks  of  Jackdaws  and  Starlings,  busily  engaged  on  the  tops  of  the 
trees  devouring  the  grubs.  Last  year  a  visible  decrease  was  made  in  their 
numbers,  judging  from  the  decrease  in  the  number  of  moths  that  emerged 
in  the  autumn.  This  year  the  caterpillars  have  been  much  less  plentiful; 
but  some  allowance  must  be  made  for  the  numbers  destroyed  during  the 
wet  which  was  experienced  in  the  early  spring. — W.  Harcodrt  Bath  (The 
Limes,  Sutton  Coldfield,  near  Birmingham). 

Albino  Birds  observed  in  the  Harrogate  District. — During  the  last 
few  years  albino  specimens  of  some  of  the  commoner  birds  have  been  of 
frequent  occurrence.  Those  which  have  come  under  my  notice  in  this 
district  are  the  following: — An  albino  Blackbird  for  the  last  three  years 
frequented  Harlow  Moor,  and  a  perfectly  white  specimen  was  obtained  at 
Harewood.  A  pied  House  Sparrow  for  some  months  frequented  Parliament 
Street,  one  of  our  main  thoroughfares.  Li  the  summer  of  1884  Mr.  J. 
Simpson  shot  a  pure  white  albino  Sky  Lark  at  Birk  Crag.  Mr.  J.  Heaton, 
also  during  the  same  year,  shot  in  the  fields  adjoining  the  Hydropathic 
Establishment  a  smoky  white  Starling,  the  bill  and  legs  of  which  were  of 
the  same  colour.  On  the  3rd  of  January  last  Mr.  R.  Wood  (Oatlands, 
Harrogate)  informed  me  that  he  had  on  the  previous  day  observed  in  his 
stackyard  a  pied  Robin,  the  back  and  tail  of  which  were  perfectly  white, 
the  remaining  parts  being  of  the  usual  colour.  —  J.  R.  Fitzgerald 

Habits  of  the  Green  Sandpiper. — That  the  Green  Sandpiper,  Totanus 
ochropus,  occasionally  winters  in  this  country  is  well  known  to  most 
ornithologists.  The  reason  for  its  not  doing  so  more  frequently  seems 
in  no  way  connected  with  the  severity  of  our  climate  or  the  scarcity  of 
food,  as  the  following  notes  will  show.  In  December,  1885,  the  Green 
Sandpiper  was  quite  plentiful  on  most  of  our  "  becks  "  and  drains,  though 
we  had  several  days  of  severe  frost  early  in  the  month.  Throughout  the 
great  snow  storm  which  commenced  on  March  1st,  1886,  a  few  remained  in 
the  district  up  to  the  middle  of  the  mouth.  Last  summer  they  arrived 
rather  later  than  usual, — I  saw  the  first  on  July  27th, — but  were  very 
abundant  about  the  middle  of  August.  On  the  23rd  of  that  month 
I  flushed  over  a  dozen  from  our  stream  in  a  distance  of  less  than  a  mile, 
and  they  have  been  by  no  means  uncommon  up  to  the  present  time.  On 
the  night  of  December  1st  a  thermometer  placed  on  the  ground  showed 
twelve  degrees  of  frost;  on  December  2nd,  twenty-one  degrees;  and  on 
December  3rd,  nine  degrees;    yet   the   Green  Sandpipers  remained,  and 


appeared  perfectly  at  home  and  comfortable.  Again,  from  the  17th  of 
December  to  the  7th  of  January  the  frost  continued  with  very  little 
intermission  and  some  heavy  falls  of  snow,  but  the  Green  Sandpipers 
seemed  totally  unaffected  by  it,  not  even  losing  their  customary  wildness, 
and  generally  flying  a  long  distance  when  disturbed.  I  seldom  shoot  these 
birds,  but  those  1  have  examined,  killed  in  winter,  were  always  in  good 
condition.  The  Snipe  apparently  felt  the  recent  long-continued  frost 
much  more  than  the  Green  Sandpipers,  those  I  killed  being  in  very  poor 
condition.  They  lay  exceedingly  close,  and  when  flushed  only  flew  a  short 
distance  slowly  and  heavily,  off"ering  the  easiest  of  shots. — G.  H.  Caton 
Haigh  (Grainsby  Hall,  Great  Grimsby). 

Crossbills  at  Rynn,  Rosenallis,  Queen's  County. —  On  Sept.  23rd 
a  flock  of  Crossbills  visited  a  belt  of  spruce-fir  trees  near  the  house,  perching 
on  tiie  fir-cones  and  pecking  out  the  seeds,  twittering  and  throwing  down 
the  cones  in  numbers.  On  Sept.  24th  Mr.  Croasdaile  shot  three  out  of  the 
flock,  one  reddish  cock  with  a  fine  large  bill,  one  yellowish  cock,  and  a  hen  ; 
the  two  cocks  were  sent  to  Messrs.  Wilhams,  Dame  Street,  Dublin,  to  be 
stuffed.  Many  of  them  broke  off  the  cones  from  the  branches,  and  carrying 
them  close  to  the  stem  of  the  tree  pecked  out  the  seeds  there.  They  kept 
up  a  constant  twittering  and  chirping,  and  sometimes  one  of  the  cock  birds 
would  sing  a  short  song  from  the  top  of  a  spruce.  They  had  young  ones 
with  them,  which  they  fed  while  perched  on  the  branches  of  the  firs,  and 
were  still  at  Kyme  on  October  30th. — Anna  Croasdaile  (Ryme,  Queen's 

Little  Bustard  in  Sussex. — A  fine  specimen  of  the  Little  Bustard, 
Otis  tetrax,  was  shot  in  a  turnip-field  by  Mr.  Coote,  at  Clymping,  near 
Arundel,  Sussex,  in  October  last.  Photographs  have  been  obligingly 
forwarded  me  by  Mr.  Hobgen,  of  Chichester,  placing  the  identity  of  the 
species  beyond  a  doubt.  It  has  been  well  preserved  by  Mr.  Henry  George, 
taxidermist,  of  that  town. — Percy  E.  Coombk  (23,  Carlyle  Square,  S.W.). 

Varieties  of  Common  Wild  Ducks. — Two  very  beautiful  varieties 
(duck  and  mallard)  of  the  Common  Wild  Duck  were  caught  last  December 
in  the  decoy  at  Park  Hall.  The  mallard  had  the  head  and  neck  white, 
a  green  patch  under  each  eye  and  one  or  two  on  the  back  of  the  head  ; 
back  white,  with  a  band  of  dark  grey  between  wings  ;  wing-coverts  grey- 
bro\vn  ;  wings  white  ;  tail  with  two  white  curled  feathers,  the  others  of  the 
normal  colour:  thighs  salmon-colour;  breast  white,  crossed  with  a  band  of 
a  salmon-grey  colour.  The  duck  was  a  pale  slate-colour,  each  feather  edged 
with  bright  chestnut;  the  wings  dark  slate-colour,  with  the  speculum  very 
pale  grey,  edged  with  white  at  the  top. — J.  Whitakkr  (Rainworth  Lodge, 
near  Mansfield,  Notts. j. 



Thrush  nesting  on  the  Ground.  — On  the  13th  May  I  saw  four 
Thrush's  eggs  in  a  slight  depression  on  the  ground  under  a  hedge,  with  no 
nest  except  a  lew  oak-leaves.  The  eggs  were  quite  warm  ;  and  so  they  were 
three  days  later,  when  I  saw  the  bird  fly  from  them.  I  did  not  take  any, 
because  I  wanted  to  give  them  every  chance  of  being  hatched;  but  on 
the  18th  they  had  disappeared. —  F.  H.  IIirley  (Dorman's  Land,  East 

Plumage  of  the  Tufted  Duck. — When  passing  through  the  Metro- 
politan Market  on  January  15th  I  found  to  my  surprise  a  male  Tufted 
Duck,  Fuligida  cristata,  in  which  the  forehead  was  sprinkled  with  white 
feathers.  The  late  Mr.  Yarrell  recorded  a  female  Tufted  Duck,  in  which 
the  forehead  was  "speckled  with  white  like  the  adult  female  of  the  Scaup." 
I  examined  two  female  Tufted  Ducks  at  Lewes  in  which  the  forehead  was 
white ;  these  birds  were  known  to  be  eight  years  old.  An  adult  female 
living  in  the  collection  of  the  Zoological  Society  at  present  has  likewise 
this  variation  ;  but  I  am  not  aware  that  the  male  Tufted  Duck  has  been 
recorded  to  exhibit  this  Scaup-like  tendency.  Since  the  foregoing  was 
written,  Mr.  J.  H.  Gurney,  jun.,  has  pointed  out  to  me  that  the  assumption 
of  a  white  forehead  by  the  Tufted  Duck  is  not  necessarily  a  sign  of  old  age, 
since  "  there  is  a  very  young  Tufted  Duck  in  the  Wolley  Collection  at  the 
Norwich  Museum,  which  has  a  white  face."  Mr.  Gurney  adds  that  a  female 
Tufted  Duck  in  his  collection,  shot  on  August  8th,  shows  a  trace  of  the  white 
forehead.  Perhaps  Mr.  Whitaker,  whose  opportunities  for  studying  the 
Tufted  Duck  have  been  so  exceptional,  may  be  able  to  throw  further  light 
upon  this  point. — H.  A.  Macpherson. 

Plumage  of  the  Kestrel.— In  '  The  Zoologist'  for  1883,  p.  496,  I  com- 
municated the  result  of  some  observations  made  by  my  brother  and  myself 
on  the  plumage  of  the  young  Kestrel,  and  it  was  there  implied  that  the  tail 
of  the  adult  female  was  rufous  with  dark  bars ;  this  I  find  is  not  exactly 
correct.  Since  the  above  note  was  written  I  have  obtained  two  specimens, 
both  females  by  dissection,  in  which  the  tail  has  a  strong  tinge  of  blue. 
One  specimen  has  the  upper  tail-coverts  blue,  with  a  faint  tinge  of  the 
same  colour  on  the  tail,  the  other  has  the  tail  so  decidedly  washed  with 
blue  that  the  ground  colour  might  be  called  blue  rather  than  rufous, 
although  there  is  still  a  rufous  shade.  In  both  birds  the  tail  is  barred  in 
the  character  of  the  younger  and  rufous-tailed  female,  instead  of  having  the 
upper  aspect  clear  blue,  with  the  exception  of  a  broad  subterminal  dark 
band  as  in  the  adult  male.  I  may  add  that  the  dark  bars  on  the  tail  of  the 
adult  male  are  only  seen  when  the  feathers  are  spread  or  reversed ;  they 
exist  on  the  inner  webs  only,  and  gradually  disappear  with  age.  In  a  very 
old  pale  specimen  in  my  possession  these  dark  markings  are  obsolete  in 
some  of  the  feathers,  and  appear  in  the  shape  of  spots  in  others.  To  return 
to  the  adult  female:    in  my  opinion  fully  adult  birds  always  possess  more 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  113 

or  less  blue  upon  the  upper  tail-coverts  and  the  tail,  and  I  am  unable  to 
agree  with  Mr.  J.  H.  Gurney,  jun.,  who,  in  the  'Transactions  of  the 
Norfolk  and  Norwich  Naturalists'  Society  '  (vol.  iv.  pt.  ii.  p.  155),  refers  to 
some  examples  of  female  Kestrels  showing  more  or  less  blue  colouring,  and 
treats  them  as  instances  of  the  females  assuming  male  dress.  T  think  the 
bird  mentioned  by  the  Rev.  H.  T.  Frere  in  'The  Zoologist'  for  1886 
(p  180),  and  described  as  "a  young  male  in  immature  (female)  plumage, 
with  the  exception  of  a  few  blue  feathers  on  the  upper  tail-coverts,"  was 
really  (unless  actually  sexed)  the  female  bird  of  the  pair,  a  very  old  bird 
in  the  adult  bluish  dress,  and  not  a  second  male  paired  to  the  female 
belonging  to  the  nest  in  two  hours,  as  he  suggests.  With  regard  to 
Mr.  Cecil  Smith's  remarks,  in  '  The  Zoologist'  for  1886  (p  1 10),  I  would 
submit  that  his  No.  1  is  (unless  actually  sexed)  not  a  male  at  all,  but  an 
example  of  the  fully  adult  female.  In  addition  to  the  evidence  of  the 
colour  and  markings  of  the  tail,  Mr.  Smith's  description  of  the  tail-coverts 
being  "distinctly  barred  with  dark  brown,"  and  "  the  feathers  on  the  breast 
and  rest  of  the  upper  parts"  having  "  broad  patches  of  dark  brown  towards 
the  tip,  and  also  dark  brown  bars  nearer  the  body,"  all  tend  to  this 
conclusion. — F.  C.  Aplin  (Bloxham,  near  Banbury,  Oxon). 

Supposed  assumption  of  Male  Plumage  by  a  Female  Kestrel. — 

If  the  Kestrel  mentioned  by  the  Rev.  H.  T.  Frere  (Zool.  1886,  p.  180)  was 
not  dissected,  and  if  it  was  judged  to  be  a  male  because  it  had  blue  feathers 
on  the  upper  tail-coverts,  this  affords  no  proof  that  such  was  the  case ;  for 
it  is  by  no  means  uncommon  for  the  female  Kestrel  to  assume  this  colour. 
The  specimen  No.  8  described  by  Mr.  Cecil  Smith  {torn.  cit.  p.  112)  is  a 
case  in  point. — J.  H.  Gurney,  Jun.  (Northrepps,  Norwich). 

Hybrid  Finches.  —  At  the  recent  Crystal  Palace  Cage-Bird  Show 
(Feb.  12th  to  17th)  an  unusual  number  of  hybrid  finches  were  exhibited. 
Of  course  the  usual  mules  between  Goldfinch,  Linnet,  and  Canary  were 
common  enough,  but  besides  these  there  were  fifteen  Siskin-Canary,  one 
Redpoll-Canary,  and  one  Bullfinch-Canary  mules,  the  last  two  being  very 
rarely  seen.  There  were  also  the  following  hybrids  between  other  finches, 
viz.: — one  Greenfinch-Linnet,  one  Greenfinch-Goldfinch,  one  Linnet-Bull- 
finch, one  Linnet-Goldfinch,  five  Goldfinch-Bullfinch,  one  Redpoll-Bullfinch, 
and  one  Redpoll-Linnet.  In  this  list  the  male  bird  is  in  every  case  placed 
first.  Tlie  most  beautiful  of  these  hybrids  was  the  Goldfinch-Bullfinch, 
the  colours  and  the  shape  of  the  bill  of  each  species  being  completely 
blended.  It  is  apparently  not  difficult  to  obtain  such  hybrids,  for  some 
have  been  exhibited  at  every  show  for  many  years.  To  my  mind  the  most 
remarkable  bird  at  the  recent  show  was  the  Redpoll-Bullfinch,  the  disparity 
in  size  of  the  parents  being  so  great.  I  do  not  doubt  that  all  the  above 
named  were  bred  as  described,  but  there  was  a  bird  shown  as  a  Siskin- 

ZOOLOGIST. — MARCH,  1887.  K 


Greenfiuch  which  appeared  to  rae  to  be  a  Cape  Canary,  Serinus  canicollis, 
and  as  the  specimen  of  that  species  taken  at  Brighton  (see  Zool.  for, 
February,  p.  72)  was  also  exhibited  by  Mr.  Swaysland,  I  was  enabled  to 
make  a  miunte  comparison  between  the  two,  and  Mr.  Swaysland  concurred 
in  my  view.  I  would  not,  however,  put  forward  this  opinion  too  positively, 
for  I  have  seen  an  undoubted  hybrid  between  a  Redpoll  and  Linnet  so 
closely  resembling  the  Twite  that  it  could  scarcely  be  distinguished  from 
that  species,  and  had  I  not  known  the  person  who  bred  it  (Mr.  J.  H.  Verrall, 
of  Lewes),  1  could  scarcely  have  been  convinced  that  such  was  not  the  case  ; 
indeed  I  believe  that  if  the  bird  had  been  taken  wild  it  would  certahily  have 
been  regarded  as  a  Twite. — J.  Jknner  Weir  (Beckenhara,  Kent). 

[A  hybrid  between  male  Redpoll  and  female  Bullfinch  is  noticed  by  Rev. 
H.  A.  Macpherson  (Zool.  1883,  p.  504),  where  mention  is  also  made  of 
hybrids  between  Goldfinch  and  Bullfinch,  Bullfinch  and  Linnet,  Linnet  and 
Lesser  Redpoll,  Goldfinch  and  Siskin,  and  Bullfinch  and  Goldfinch. — Ed.] 

White's  Thrush  in  the  Scilly  Islands.— Early  in  December  last 
the  butler  of  Mr.  Dorien-Smith  killed  at  Tresco,  Scilly,  a  bird  which  he 
tiiought  to  be  a  large  Missel  Thrush.  Fortunately  be  showed  it  to 
Mr.  Smith,  who  at  once  sent  it  on  to  Mr.  W.  H.  Vingoe,  of  this  place, 
with  whom  I  saw  it.  It  is  unmistakably  a  specimen  of  "  White's  Thrush," 
of  the  ordinary  size  and  plumage. — Thomas  Cornish  (Penzance). 


Scabbard  Fish  on  the  Cornish  Coast. —  Early  in  this  month 
Mr.  Fortescue  Millett  obtained  from  the  sea-shore  near  Marazion  the  head 
and  part  of  the  body  of  a  Scabbard  Fish,  Lepidopiis  argyreus,  washed 
ashore.  He  kindly  showed  it  to  me,  and  I  have  no  doubt  that  its 
identification  is  correct.  I  believe  that  this  is  the  first  recorded 
occurrence  of  this  fish  in  Mount's  Bay. — Thomas  Cornish  (Penzance). 

[This  fish  was  first  described  as  British  by  Montagu  (Mem.  Wern.  Soc. 
i.  p.  83,  pis.  2,  3),  from  a  specimen  obtained  in  Salcombe  Harbour,  Devon. 
We  believe  it  has  only  been  met  with  on  the  south  coast  of  England. — Ed.] 


Muscular  Power  of  Snails.— Seeing  the  remarks  on  the  wonderful 
strength  of  snails  (Zool.  1886,  p.  491)  reminds  me  of  what  came  under  my 
observation  many  years  ago,  of  which  a  note  was  made  and  a  sketch  taken. 
On  the  7th  of  April,  at  9  a.m.  (ther.  46°),  I  noticed  a  cluster  of  hyberuating 
Snails,  Helix  aspersa,  that  had  taken  up  their  quarters  in  a  rough  garden- 
wall  ;  two  or  three  of  those  near  the  opening  had  slightly  relaxed  their 
hold  since  the  previous  day.  On  the  9th,  at  9  a.m..  I  found  one  on  the 
move ;  there  had  been  rain  during  the  night,  and  the  thermometer  had 
riseu  to  60°.     Later  in  the  day  a  Snail  was  observed  coming  out  with  oue 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  115 

tightly  adhering  to  its  shell,  seemingly  not  much  hindered  or  retarded  by 
it  till  it  began  to  ascend  the  face  of  the  wall,  where  a  slight  twig  barred 
the  way,  which  the  burdened  Snail  could  neither  get  under  nor  over.  After 
a  close  inspection  of  the  obstacle  and  its  surroundings  it  began  to  creep  up 
the  slender  twig,  which  was  gradually  enveloped  and  good  progress  made 
till  a  projecting  ledge  had  been  reached,  to  surmount  which  it  had  to  relax 
Its  hold  of  a  part  of  the  twig,  causing  the  pendant  load  to  oscillate  and 
drag  away  the  greater  part  of  the  body,  which,  drawn  out  to  great  length, 
swung  to  and  fro  like  a  pendulum.  How  this  mishap  was  to  be  got  over 
I  was  at  a  loss  to  imagine,  and  momentarily  expected  to  see  the  Snail  come 
toppling  down,  but  it  held  on  tenaciously,  and  ere  long  began  to  contract 
its  attenuated  body  till,  bit  by  bit,  it  had  regained  its  hold  of  the  stem,  and  ere 
night  had  succeeded  in  overcoming  all  obstacles.  But  for  this  marvellous 
muscular  power  many  Snails  might  perish,  seeing  that  the  first  which 
revive  have  to  tear  themselves  away  from  the  agglutinated  mass,  and  are 
not  unfrequently  heavily  laden  as  described.— Henry  Hadfield  (Ventnor, 
Isle  of  Wight).  j; 

Marine  Mollusca  of  Kerry.— In  the  last  volume  of  'The  Zoologist' 
(p.  418)  I  described  the  various  forms  of  inland  Mollusca  sent  to  me 
by  the  Eev.  A.  H.  Delap  from  the  neighbourhood  of  Valentia,  and  now 
proceed  to  give  some  account  of  the  marine  species  collected,  which  are 
both  numerous  and  interesting.  Most  of  the  species  were  taken  in  Valentia 
Harbour,  and  the  following  is  a  list  of  those  from  that  locality  : — Anomia 
ephippium,  A.  patelliformis,  Pecten  variiis,  P.  maximus,  P.  opercularis, 
P.  pusio,  Modiolaria  dlscors,  M.  marmorata,  Area  tetragona  (curiously 
worn  and  distorted  by  the  rocks,  as  described  in  '  British  Conchology '), 
TelUna  tenuis  and  var.  alba,  T.  balthica  and  var.  citrina,  T.  squalida, 
Psammobiaferroensis  {siui  var.  pallida,  without  the  pink  rays),  P.  tellinella, 
Vinus  ovata,  V.  gallina,  F.  verrucosa,  Axinus  Jiexuosus,  Mactra  subtmncata, 
Saxicava  rugosa  var.  pholadis,  Mya  truncata,  M.  binghami,  Cardium 
echinatum,  C.  nodosum,  Helcion  pellucidum,  Trochus  umbilicatus,  T.  cine- 
rarius,  T.  tumidus,  T.  magus,  T.  zizyphinus,  Lacuna  divaricata  and  var. 
quadri/asciata,  Mont.,  Littorina  obtusata  var.  lutea,  L.  rudis,  small  varieties, 
one,  pallidula,  10^  mill,  long,  pale  yellowish,  and  not  strongly  ribbed,  and 
two  forms  of  y&r.  jugosa,  Mont., — rubra,  entirely  red,  and  albagrisea,  whitish 
grey,  with  a  white  band  below  the  periphery  and  a  white  base.  Rissoa 
membranacea,  R.  parva,  type  form.  Pi.  striata,  Odostomia  lactea,  Natica 
alderi,  Scalaria  communis,  Nassa  reticulata,  N.  incrassata,  Murex  erinaceus, 
Aporrhdis  pes-pelecani,  Dejrancia  purpurea,  var.  deep  chocolate-brown, 
variegated  with  white,  Pleurotoma  costata,  Cerithium  reticulatum,  Cypraa 
europaa  (of  two  forms,  typica,  pale  brownish  or  pinkish,  with  or  without 
brown  spots,  and  an  ash-coloured  variety,  spotless  or  with  black  spots). 
Scaphander  lignarius,  and  Acera  bullata.     Accompanying  the  above,  also 


from  Valentia  Harbour,  dredged  in  six  fathoms,  was  some  foraminiferous 
mud.  This  has  been  carefully  examined  by  Mr.  C.  D.  Sherborn,  who 
reports  the  following  species  : — Lagena  sulcata,  W.  &  J.  var.,  L.  lavis,  Will., 
Truncatulina  lobatula,  Mont.,  Rotalia  becearii,  Linn.,  MilioUna  oblomja, 
Mont.,  PolystomeUa  crispa,  Linn.,  P.  striatopunctata,  J.  &  M.,  and  a  species 
oi  Bulimina.  Some  very  interesting  forms  of  Purpura  lapillus  were  sent 
from  Donlus  Head.  In  shape  and  size  they  agree  with  Jeffreys'  var.  minor, 
and  as  regards  colour  may  he  divided  into  three  races — a.  nigra,  brown- 
black ;  b.  bizona,  similar,  but  with  two  pale  brown  bands;  and  c.  lineolata, 
pale  yellowish  with  three  white  bands  and  numerous  dark  brown  spiral 
lines.  Bally-ua-Skellig  Bay  yielded  Kellia  suborbicularis  and  Helcion pellu- 
cidum  var.  lavis,  specimens  of  the  latter  being  beautifully  iridescent  with 
purple  inside.  Finne  Strand  was  the  locality  of  specimens  of  Acteeon 
tornatilis  and  Donax  viUatiis  sent;  and  from  Darrynane  Strand  were  sent 
Corbula  gibba,  and  Phasianella  pullus  of  five  varieties — a.  millepunctata, 
regularly  and  minutely  spotted  with  pink  ;  b,  cinereolineata,  with  brown- 
band  and  some  rather  ill-marked  grey,  closely  set  interrupted  lines ; 
c.  interrupta,  with  a  dark  interrupted  lines ;  and  two  other  less  marked 
forms.  This  completes  the  list  of  Kerry  shells  sent  by  Mr.  Delap, 
and  though  necessarily  incomplete  it  is  of  some  interest  as  a  con- 
tribution to  the  fauna  of  a  little-worked  district,  and  more  especially 
for  comparison  with  other  local  lists,  and  its  bearing  upon  the  question 
of  geographical  distribution.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  before  long 
we  shall  know  in  some  detail  the  local  distribution  of  our  marine  fauna,  but 
at  present  the  materials  are  far  too  scanty  to  form  any  definite  conclusions 
or  for  any  considerable  generalizations.  With  the  Kerry  collection  were 
three  species  from  DonQg&\  —  Spirula  peronii,  Lam.  {S.  australis,  Brug.) 
from  Maghery  Strand,  and  Fissurella  graca  (a  small  depressed  form, 
perhaps  var.  ima,  De  Greg.),  and  Emarginulajissura  from  Rutland  Island. — 
T.  D.  A.  CoGKERELL  (Bedford  Park,  Chiswick). 


Inachus  dorynchus  at  Penzance. — On  February  17th  I  obtained 
from  the  stomach  of  a  codfish,  caught  in  Mount's  Bay,  five  specimens  of 
Inachus  dorynchus,  one  a  large  male  measuring  fourteen-sixteenths  of  an 
inch  on  the  lengthwise  of  the  carapace,  and  the  others  (females)  much 
smaller,  and  all  bearing  berry.  They  were  all  more  or  less  covered  with 
sponges,  Fuci,  and  small  corallines.  In  the  male  the  rostrum  was  obscurely 
bifid,  but  in  all  the  females  it  was  distinctly  so.  In  all  of  them  the  colour 
was  reddish  brown,  and  in  each  the  fingers  were  marked  by  transverse 
darker  coloured  bars.  The  specimens  were  perfectly  fit  for  observation, 
but  too  far  gone  for  preservation. — Thomas  Cornish  (Penzance). 

[For  a  figure  of  this  species  see  Bell,  '  British  Slalk-eyed  Crustacea,' 
p.  16.— Ed.] 

(      117      ) 

LiNKEAN  Society  of  London. 

February  3,  1887.— William  Cakruthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the 

Dr.  Michael  C.  Grabham  (Oporto)  and  Capt.  Wingate  (Cashmere)  were 
elected  Fellows  of  the  Society. 

Mr.  W.  Simpson  exhibited  a  series  of  sketches  of  the  Afghan  Boundary, 
as  illustrative  of  the  region  traversed  by  the  Delimitation  Commission. 

An  important  paper  on  the  Fauna  and  Flora  of  the  Afghan  Boundary, 
by  Brigade-Surgeon  J.  E.  T.  Aitchison,  CLE.,  was  read  and  discussed. 
Among  the  speakers  who  took  part  in  the  discussion  were  Sir  J.  D.  Hooker, 
Dr.  Giinther,  Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger,  Dr.  P.  L.  Sclater,  Mr.  W.  T.  Blanford, 
Mr.  0.  Thomas,  Sir  J.  Fayrer,  Mr.  K.  Bowdler  Sharpe,  Mr.  Howard 
Saunders,  Mr.  C.  0.  Waterhouse,  and  others.  The  following  is  the  author's 
summary  of  the  zoological  collections: — Nineteen  species  of  mammals, 
belonging  to  fifteen  genera,  were  collected,  and  other  species  belonging  to 
three  genera  were  seen.  Perhaps  the  most  interesting,  as  being  the  least 
known,  was  Ellobius  fuscicapillus,  the  type  of  which  was  originally  obtained 
many  years  ago  near  Quetta.  The  geographical  range  of  the  Tiger,  Felis 
tigris,  was  now  ascertained  to  include  the  district  round  Bala-Morchab, 
and  that  of  the  Cheetah,  Felis  jubata,  as  far  as  the  valley  of  the  Hari-rud  ; 
while  the  Egyptian  Fox,  Vtdpes  famelica,  was  obtained  as  far  north  and 
east  as  Kushk-rud,  and  Kin  in  the  basin  of  the  Harut  river.  As  regards 
birds,  123  species  belonging  to  some  eighty-four  genera  were  collected, 
while  fourteen  other  species  were  identified,  though  not  preserved.  Two 
new  species  only  were  procured,  viz.  a  Fhea.sant,  Phasianus  2}rincipalis, 
and  a  Woodpecker,  Gecinus  Gorii.  The  birds  in  Afghanistan  are  chiefly 
migratory,  with  the  exception  of  the  above  new  Pheasant,  the  Raven,  Rook, 
Carrion  Crow,  Jackdaw,  Sparrow,  Starling,  Sky  Lark,  Crested  Lark, 
Bokhara  Lark,  Melanocori/pha  bimaculata,  Wall  Creeper,  Tichodroma 
muraria,  Bittern, Botaurus  stall aris,  several  Raptores,  Sand  Grouse,  Pterocles 
arenarius,  and  Red-legged  Partridge,  Caccabis  chukar.  As  spring  advances 
birds  are  seen  to  arrive,  following  each  other  rapidly,  such  as  Aedon  fami- 
liaris,  and  various  species  of  Sylvia,  Saxicola,  Lanius,  MotaciUa,  Pastor, 
Merops,  and  Coracias.  Various  ducks  then  leave  the  country,  but  the  Brah- 
miny  Duck  or  Ruddy  Sheldrake,  Casarca  rutila,  remains  throughout  the 
year  and  breeds  there.  The  greater  number  of  the  species  met  with  belong 
to  tlie  genera  Saxicola  (8),  Lanius  (6),  Sylvia  (5 1,  MotaciUa  (a ),  and  Emberiza 
(4).  Of  Reptilia  thirty-five  species  were  collected — a  Tortoise  and  twenty- 
one  species  of  Lizards,  of  which  three  are  new ;  of  Ophidians  thirteen 
species,  one  of  which  is  new  ;  also  adult  examples  of  I\aia  oxiana,  which 


heretofore  has  only  been  recognised  from  young  specimens.  Of  Batrachia 
two  specimens  were  obtained,  viz.  Rana  esculenta  and  Bufo  viridis,  and  on 
the  latter  a  Leech,  Aulostoma  gulo,  was  found.  Circumstances  prevented 
more  than  seven  species  of  fish  from  being  procured ;  these  proved  to  belong 
to  six  genera :  two  of  these  species  are  new  to  science.  Schizothorax  inter- 
medins is  interesting,  as  it  was  found  by  GrifiBth  in  the  Cabul  river,  an  affluent 
of  the  Indus.  In  the  great  eastern  drainage  of  East  Turkestan  it  was  found 
at  Youngsi-Hirsar  by  the  second  Yarkand  Mission.  The  new  species  of 
Schizothorax  was  only  met  with  in  the  Hari-rud  and  its  tributaries.  Over 
one  hundred  species  of  insects  were  collected,  of  which  twenty  prove 
new.  The  greater  number  of  them  are  typical  of  the  Arabian,  North 
African,  and  Mediterranean  faunas;  a  few  only  have  Indian  and  Central 
Asian  affinities.  It  was  observed  that  the  Lepidoptera  generally  appeared 
at  irregular  intervals,  only  when  there  was  perfect  stillness  in  the  air,  and 
then  in  limited  numbers. 

February  17.  1887. — The  only  zoological  paper  read  at  this  meeting 
was  by  Dr.  Hoek,  of  Leiden,  "  On  Dichelaspis  pellucida,  Darwin,  from  the 
scales  of  an  Hydrophid  obtained  at  the  Mergui  Archipelago  by  Dr.  John 
Anderson."  As  far  as  the  author's  knowledge  goes,  this  species  of  Cirri- 
pede  has  not  been  observed  since  Darwin  published  his  description  from 
specimens  procured  in  the  Indian  Ocean  and  also  from  a  sea-snake.  It 
seems  that  although  somewhat  larger  in  dimensions,  and  with  other  slight 
variations  which  may  be  due  to  difference  of  age,  there  can  be  little  doubt 
of  the  identity  of  the  Mergui  specimens  with  Darwin's  D.  pellucida  {Monogr. 
Cirriped.  i.  p.  125). — J.  Mueie. 

Zoological  Society  of  London. 

February  1,  1887.— Dr.  St.  George  Mivart,  f  .R.S.,  Vice-President, 
in  the  chair. 

Mr.  F.  Day  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  hybrid  fish  supposed 
to  be  between  the  Pilchard  and  the  Herring,  and  a  specimen  of  Salmo 
purpuratus  reared  in  this  country. 

Mr.  W.  L.  Sclater  exhibited  and  made  remarks  upon  some  specimens 
of  a  species  of  Peripatus  which  he  had  obtained  in  British  Guiana  during 
a  recent  visit  to  that  country,  and  added  some  general  observations  on  the 
distribution  and  affinities  of  this  singular  form  of  Arthropod. 

Mr  A.  Thomson  read  a  report  on  the  insects  bred  in  the  Society's  Insect 
House  during  the  past  season,  and  exhibited  the  insects  referred  to. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Dr.  B.  C.  A.  Windle,  containing  an 
account  of  the  anatomy  of  Hydromys  chrysogaster. 

Mr.  Martin  Jacoby  read  a  paper  containing  an  account  of  the  Pliyto- 


phagous  Coleoptera  obtained  by  Mr.  G.  Lewis  in  Ceylon  during  the  years 
1881,  1882.  About  150  new  species  were  described  and  many  new 
generic  forms. 

Mr.  F.  E.  Beddard  read  some  notes  on  a  specimen  of  a  rare  American 
Monkey,  Brachyurus  calvus,  which  had  died  in  the  Society's  Gardens. 

Mr.  Oldfield  Thomas  read  a  note  on  the  Mammals  obtained  by  Mr.  H.  H. 
Johnston  on  the  Caraaroons  Mountain. 

A  paper  was  read  by  Capt.  Shelley,  containing  an  account  of  the  birds 
collected  by  Mr.  H.  H.  Johnston  on  the  Camaroons  Mountain.  The 
collection  contained  thirty-six  specimens  referable  to  eighteen  species,  and 
of  these  four  were  new  to  science. 

Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger  read  a  list  of  the  Reptiles  collected  by  Mr.  H.  H. 
Johnston  during  his  recent  visit  to  the  Camaroons  Mountain. 

Mr.  Edgar  A.  Smith  read  a  paper  on  the  Mollusca  co  lected  at  the 
Camaroons  Mountain  by  Mr.  H.  H.  Johnston,  and  gave  the  description  of 
a  new  species  of  Gihhus,  proposed  to  be  called  Gibbus  johnstoni,  of  which 
specimens  were  in  the  collection. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  Charles  0.  Waterhouse,  containing 
a  list  of  some  coleopterous  insects  collected  by  Mr.  H.  H.  Johnston  on  the 
Camaroons  Mountain. — P.  L.  Sclater,  Secretary. 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

February  2,  1887. — Dr.  D.  Sharp,  President,  in  the  chair. 

The  President  nominated  Mr.  Robert  M'Lachlan,  F.U.S.,  Mr.  Osbert 
Salvin,  M.A.,  F.R.S.,  and  Mr.  Henry  T.  Staintou,  F.R.S.,  Vice-Presidents 
during  the  Session  1887-1888. 

The  Rev.  W.  J.  Holland,  M.  A.,  of  Pittsburgh,  United  States ;  Dr.  F.  A. 
Dixey,  M.A.,  Fellow  of  Wadham  College,  Oxford  ;  Mr.  C.  J.  Gahaii,  M.A., 
of  Bromptoii,  S.W.  ;  and  Mr.  Sydney  Klein,  F.R.A.S.,  of  Willesden,  N.W. ; 
were  elected  Fellows. 

Mr.  P.  Crowley  exhibited  a  new  species  of  Synchloe — S.  Johnstoni — 
from  Kilima-ujaro;  also,  for  comparison,  specimens  of  Synchloe  mesentin a 
and  S.  hellica,  which  the  new  species  closely  resembled. 

Mr.  W.  White  exhibited  a  number  of  preserved  larvae  of  European 
Lcpidoptera  in  various  stages  of  growth, —  including  nine  examples  each 
of  Salurnia  carpini  and  Deilephila  euphorbm, — illustrating  the  gradual 
development  of  the  markings  and  colours,  as  explained  by  Prof.  Weismann, 
in  his  '  Studies  in  the  Theory  of  Descent.' 

Mr.  Gervase  F.  Mathew  exhibited  a  variety  of  a  female  of  Lycana 
telicanus,  from  the  neighbourhood  of  Gallipoli,  Turkey  :  also  some  specimens 
of  a  Lycana  from  Vigo,  believed  to  be  varieties  of  Lycana  baton,  but 
differing  from  the   type   in   being  much   larger  and  darker.     He  further 


exhibited  several  examples  of  a  Leucophasia  from  Vigo,  which  appeared 
to  be  identical  with  L.  astiva  (Staud.). 

Mr.  Porritt  exhibited,  on  behalf  of  Mr.  N.  F.  Dobree,  a  series  of  a 
remarkable  red  form  of  Tceniocampa  gracilis,  bred  last  season  from  larvae 
collected  in  Hampshire. 

Mr.  Eland  Shaw  exhibited  specimens  of  Pachytylus  cinerascens  (Fab.), 
Mecostethus  grossus  (Linne)  and  Gryllus  flavipes  (Grael.),  and  read  a  "  Note 
on  the  Identity  of  Gryllus  (Locusta)  Jiavipes,  Gmel." 

The  Secretary  read  a  communication  from  Prof.  Riley,  of  Washington, 
on  the  subject  of  the  "Australian  Bug"  (Icerya  purchasi).  It  was  stated 
that  the  insect  had  of  late  years  become  very  destructive  to  various  trees  and 
shrubs  in  California,  into  which  country,  as  well  as  into  Now  Zealand  and 
Cape  Colony,  it  had  been  introduced  from  Australia,  where  it  was  believed 
to  be  indigenous ;  but  on  this  point  further  evidence  was  asked  for. 

The  Rev.  T.  A.  Marshall  communicated  "  A  Monograph  of  the  British 
Braconidse,"  Part  2,  being  a  continuation  from  Part  1  of  the  'Transactions' 
for  1885. 

Mr.  Francis  P.  Pascoe  read  a  paper  entitled  "  Descriptions  of  some  new 
species  of  Brachy cents." 

Mr.  Francis  Galton,  F.R.S.,  read  a  paper  on  "  Pedigree  Moth-breeding 
as  a  means  of  verifying  certain  important  Constants  in  the  General 
Theory  of  Heredity."  In  this  paper  Mr.  Galton  suggested  the  institution 
of  a  system  of  experimental  breedings,  to  be  continued  for  several  years, 
with  the  object  of  procuring  evidence  as  to  the  precise  measure  of  the 
diminution  of  the  rate  at  which  a  divergence  from  the  average  of  the  race 
proceeds  in  successive  generations  of  continually  selected  animals. 

Mr.  Fredeiic  Merrifield  read  a  paper  (by  way  of  an  appendix  to 
Mr.  Gallon's  paper)  entitled  "A  proposed  method  of  breeding  Selenia 
illustraria,  with  the  object  of  obtaining  data  for  Mr.  Galton." 

Mr.  M'Lachlan  said  he  considered  the  fact  that  S.  illustraria  was 
dimorphic  an  objection  to  its  selection  for  the  experiments  proposed, 
and  he  suggested  that  the  Common  Silkworm  Moth,  or  some  other  large 
Bombyces,  would  be  more  suitable  for  Mr.  Galton 's  purposes. 

Prof.  Meldola  called  attention  to  some  observations  on  Selenia  illustraria 
by  Dr.  Knaggs,  in  vol.  iii.  of  the  Ent.  Mo.  Mag.,  which  had  some  bearing 
on  the  projected  experiments;  and  he  remarked  that  although,  for  some 
reasons,  the  species  selected  was  well  adapted  for  testing  Mr.  Galton 's 
conclusions,  he  believed  that  the  fact  of  the  moth  being  seasonally 
dimorphic  was  likely  to  introduce  disturbing  elements  into  the  experiments 
which  might  influence  the  results. 

The  discussion  was  continued  by  Dr.  Sharp,  Messrs.  Baly,  Kirby, 
White,  Klein,  Porritt,  Dunning,  Waterhouse,  Bates,  Merrifield,  Galton, 
and  others. — H.  Goss,  Hon.  Secretary. 




Vol.  XL]  APRIL,    1887.  [No.  J 24. 


IN    1886. 

By  Robert  Gray. 
(Concluded  from  p.  100.) 

June  28th.  The  wind  prevailing  from  the  south-eastward, 
with  a  heavy  and  continual  swell.  La  dense  and  incessant  fog 
we  have  been  feeling  our  way  south-westwards  along  the  pack- 
edge  :  the  dreadful  roar  of  the  swell  amongst  the  ice,  which 
could  be  heard  at  a  distance  of  about  six  miles,  gave  us  timely 
warning  of  its  proximity  on  more  than  one  occasion.  Passed 
several  pieces  of  drift-wood,  one  piece  being  of  deal,  the  others 
parts  of  trees.  At  eight  o'clock  the  ship  nearly  ran  down  three 
young  Saddle  Seals  lying  asleep ;  they  were  all  lying  heading  to 
leeward,  and  as  they  rose  and  fell  on  the  bosom  of  the  southerly 
swell  the  wavelets  washed  freely  over  them.  Lying  on  their 
backs,  with  their  breasts  just  awash,  and  only  about  two  inches  of 
their  noses  above  water,  respiration  did  not  appear  to  be  going  on. 

July  2nd.  While  running  S.W.  along  the  ice-edge  we  came 
to  a  strip  of  oily  water,  with  a  number  of  birds  sitting  around  it. 
A  boat  was  lowered  down,  and  a  large  flat  fish  was  found  lying 
dead  at  the  surface.  It  was  not  brought  on  broad,  but  appeared 
to  be  about  three  feet  long,  and  the  boat's  crew  said  that  it  was 
a  Halibut.  Shannon  Island  in  sight,  bearing  W.N.W.,  distant 
about  sixty  miles. 

July  3rd.  A  most  beautiful  day ;  not  a  cloud  in  the  sky, 
the  sea  as  smooth  as  glass.     The  sun  being  very  bright  during 



the  afternoon,  the  thermometer  rose  to  50°  in  the  shade,  the 
highest  temperature  recorded  during  the  voyage  north  of  lat.  70°. 
In  the  evening,  water  was  discovered  over  the  ice  to  the  S.W., 
and,  after  a  few  hours'  boring  through  close  pack,  we  entered 
wide  water  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  ice.  A  few  large  Finners 
{B.  sihhalclii)  seen  pla3'ing  about  in  the  morning. 

July  4th.  Lay  about  becalmed  all  day  in  our  "  polynia," 
clear,  cloudless,  and  warm.  The  water,  although  clear  and 
cerulean,  contained  a  fair  quantity  of  Avhales'  food.  Narwhals 
were  very  numerous,  lying  about  at  the  surface  in  almost  every 
direction,  the  sunshine  glistening  on  their  backs.  Three  were 
killed,*  and  one  was  lost.  I  found  their  stomachs  and  intestines 
on  this,  as  on  every  other  occasion  I  have  examined  them,  to 
contain  nothing  but  the  undigested  portions  of  a  small  species  of 
cephelapod,  principally  the  hard  mandibles  and  eyes.t  Floe-rats 
also  numerous,  most  of  them  lying  asleep  on  very  small  pieces 
of  ice  ;  many  of  them,  with  their  bodies  firm  and  rigid,  their 
hind  flippers  clasped  together,  were  lying  on  one  side,  supported 
only  at  a  single  point,  a  somewhat  unstable  and  curious  attitude 
of  repose.  Mallemokes,  especially  the  white  kind,  numerous  ; 
also  a  few  other  birds.  Looms,  Botches,  Dovekies,  a  solitary 
Arctic  Puffin,  Snow-birds,  a  few  Skuas,  and  several  Arctic  Terns. 

July  5th.  Narwhals  very  numerous ;  the  males,  easily 
distinguished  by  their  horns,  were  lying  about  sunning  them- 
selves at  the  surface  ;  the  females,  with  their  young,  keeping  by 
themselves,  were  generally  seen  swimming  about. 

July  7th.  Our  "  polynia,"  at  first  circular  and  circumscribed, 
had  now  become  continuous  with  the  open  sea  to  the  N.E.,  and 
had  extended  itself  many  miles  to  the  S.W.  along  the  edge  of 
the  fast  ice.  At  the  bottom  of  this  great  cid  de  sac  we  found  the 
water  clear  and  blue,  with  a  general  absence  of  life.  An 
occasional  Finner,  B.  sibbaldii,  however,  was  seen  coming  from 
the  S.W.,  and,  passing  us,  would  continue  its  way  to  the  N.E. 
While  sitting  in  the  "  crow's-nest"  several  passed  within  a  short 
distance  of  the  ship,  and,  the  water  being  smooth  and  very  clear,  I 
enjoj^ed  a  rare  opportunity  of  watching  their  movements  while 

■'•■  A  few  measiiremeuts  obtained  will  be  found  appended. 

I  One  entire  specimen  was  obtained.  Tlirougli  the  kindness  of  Mr.  Sidney 
F.  Harmer,  of  King's  College,  Cambridge,  it  was  submitted  to  Mr.  "W.  E. 
Hoyle,  who  had  no  hesitation  in  referring  it  to  Gonatus  Fabricii  (Licht.). 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    *  ECLIPSE.'  123 

under  water.     In  whaler's  parlance,  the  Finners  were  "  span- 
ning," i.e.,  appearing  at  regular  intervals,  and  swimming  in  a 
decided  direction.     Watch  in  hand,  I  found  them   to   remain 
under  water  from  eight  to  ten  minutes,  and  to  remain  at  the 
surface  every  time  they  came  up  to  breathe  from  thirty  to  sixty 
seconds  ;  their  speed  I  estimated  at  about  five  miles  per  hour. 
It  is  commonly  believed,  if  I  mistake  not,  that  during  progression 
the  body  of  the  Whale  describes  a  succession  of  short  curves, 
each  answering  to  every  stroke  of  the  tail.     No  such  acrobatic 
feat  is  performed;  the  hinder  part  of   the   body  and   the  fin 
thereto  attached  are  alone  in  motion,  slowly  but  regularly,  and 
decidedly,  and  only  in  a  vertical  direction  ;  along  the  resultant  in 
a  direct  and  undeviating  manner  the  body  advances  forward. 
The  pectoral  hmbs  thus  freed  of  their  share  of  locomotion  are 
at  liberty  to  act  in  guiding  the  animal,  or  to  serve  any  other 
function  for  which  they  may  be  adapted.     The  Finners  I  was 
watching  were  never  many  feet  imder  water;  they  could    be 
easily  followed  from  the  moment  they  left  the  surface  until  they 
again  rose  to  breathe,  the  eye  being  greatly  assisted  by  a  peculiar 
whitish — perhaps  phosphorescent — appearance  their  bodies  as- 
sumed while  under  water.     To  cause  them  to  rise  to  the  surface 
the  great  pectoral  fins  were  slowly  extended,  then  perhaps  being 
rotated  on  their  axis ;  the  water  through  which  they  were  moving 
was  thus  caused  to  strike  obliquely  on  their  surface, — hence  the 
anterior  portion  of  the  body,  being  thus  raised  upward,  the  force 
resulting  from  the  action  of  the  caudal  fin  was  obviously  caused 
to  act  at  an  angle  on  the  axis  of  the  body,  and  the  animal,  as  it 
advanced  forward,  gradually  approached  the  surface.     As  soon 
apparently  as  the  power  exerted  by  the  muscles  of  expiration 
was   sufficient   to  overcome   the   weight   of    the   supercumbent 
water  respiration  took  place,  and  before  the  animal's  head  was 
above  the  surface  a  column  of  breath  was  projected  vertically 
upward  to  a  height  of  about  fifty  feet.    Inspiration  then  followed, 
and  just  before  the  animal  left  the  surface  close  scrutiny  could 
detect  a  secondary  puft'  containing  but  little  moisture,  and  rising 
only  to  the  height  of  a  few  feet.    As  to  this  second  act  of  expira- 
tion, a  few  words :    I  believe  that  in  the  cetaceans,  respiration 
being  effected,  the  lungs  in  their  function  become  hydrostatic.    It 
is  obvious  that  to  facilitate  submarine  progression  the  specific 
gravity  of  the  body  must  be  equal  to  that  of  the  surroundiu.'- 



medium.  Now  it  is  well  known  that,  owing  apparently  to  the  pau- 
city of  bhibber,  the  body  of  B.  sibhaldii,  immediately  after  death, 
has  a  decided  tendency  to  sink.  Consequently,  a  sufficient  quantity 
of  air  must  be  retained  in  the  lungs  during  life  to  establish  the 
necessary  equihbrium.  This  quantity  of  air  is,  I  think,  exactly 
represented  by  the  amount  exj^ired  on  the  animal's  appearance 
at  the  surface  in  the  manner  described  ;  it  is  replaced  necessarily 
during  respiration  by  the  quantity  of  air  inspired,  but  on  this 
occasion  exceeded  by  the  amount  expired  during  the  second  puff  ; 
the  latter  operation  being,  therefore,  the  act  of  re-establishing 
equilibrium  between  the  weight  of  the  body  and  the  amount  of 
water  it  displaced.  Of  course,  if  the  animal  should  have 
occasion  to  reduce  its  power  of  flotation  below  equilibrium  the 
second  puff  will  necessarily  be  greater,  or  if,  on  the  other  hand, 
it  should  be  in  somewhat  poor  condition,  the  second  puff  will 
become  unnecessary,  all  the  air  retained  in  the  lungs  being 
necessary  to  establish  equilibrium.  Meanwhile  the  body  had 
showed  itself  above  water,  the  head  broad  and  flattened,  the 
shoulders  abrupt  and  noticeable;  the  back  broad  and  flat  in 
front,  narrow  and  sharp  behind,  surmounted  by  a  small  and 
insignificant  fin,  situated  far  back  just  in  front  of  the  tail, 
which  latter  did  not  appear  above  the  surface.  As  these  parts 
each  in  succession  appeared  and  passed  in  review,  to  the  eye 
their  lines,  interrupted  and  uneven,  wanted  those  soft  and  gentle 
curves  which  lend  a  beauty  and  a  grace  to  the  slower  but  more 
majestic  movements  of  the  Eight  Whale. 

The  situation  and  condition  of  the  ice  rendering  it  apparent 
that  the  South  Greenland  whaling  would  be  a  failure  on  the  8th, 
we  proceeded  north-eastwards  towards  the  open  sea,  turned  the 
point  of  ice  which  we  had  been  to  the  westward  of  on  the  10th, 
and  the  same  day  we  spoke  the  '  Hope  '  and  *  Earl  of  Mar  and 
Kellie,'  thereafter  proceeded  eastwards  bound  for  the  Barentz  Sea. 

In  the  year  1880  Mr.  Leigh  Smith,  in  his  yacht,  the  '  Eira,' 
had  seen  two  Eight  Whales  in  one  of  the  bays  of  Franz  Joseph 
Land  during  the  month  of  August.  There  being,  therefore,  a 
likelihood  of  finding  whales  amongst  the  ice  in  the  offing,  thither 
we  were  going  to  examine  for  ourselves  the  nature  of  the 
navigation,  the  state  of  the  ice,  and  to  endeavour  to  come  to  a 
conclusion  whether  the  coast  of  Franz  Joseph  Land  is  accessible 
sufficiently  early  in  the  season  to  allow  ships  to  reach  it  in  time 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    'ECLIPSE.'  125 

to  devote  at  least  two  months  to  the  object  of  their  voyage 
before  the  commencement  of  the  winter's  frost,  and  the 
increasing  severity  of  the  weather  should  compel  them  to 
retreat  to  the  southwards. 

While  crossing  the  Spitzbergen  water  we  found  it  con- 
tinually grass-green  in  colour  from  the  ice-edge  in  long.  12''  W. 
lat.  73°  3'  N.  to  long.  2°  E.  lat.  75°  30'  N.,  a  distance  of 
some  220  miles ;  thereafter  its  colour  was  not  uniform,  being 
either  green,  dark  brown,  or  blue.  Surface-life  seemed  equally 
abundant  all  the  way.  On  the  10th,  a  minute  Medusa,  just 
visible  to  the  naked  eye,  was  most  abundant ;  and  on  the 
15th  Limacina  arctica  was  very  numerous.  B.  sibbaldii  was 
seen  daily,  in  numbers ;  but  no  other  cetaceans  were  observed. 
On  the  12th,  in  lat.  74°  38'  N.,  long.  4°  36'  W.,  we  passed  a  solitary 
piece  of  ice,  which,  however,  reminded  us  that  the  margin  of  the 
Greenland  West  Ice,  now  in  this  latitude  270  miles  to  the  west- 
ward, was  in  this  longitude  on  the  1st  of  May,  showing  that  it  had 
retreated  westward  at  the  rate  of  four  miles  daily  since  then. 

Passing  some  forty  miles  to  the  southward  of  Cape  Look-out 
on  the  15th  we  continued  to  steer  eastwards  ;  the  day  following, 
however,  we  had  to  alter  our  course  to  the  southward  somewhat, 
clear  of  ice.  A  large  "berg,"  fully  100  ft.  high,  was  passed  on 
the  17th.  The  same  day  a  young  Ground  Seal,  P.  harhata,  was 
noticed.  Continuing  to  work  our  way  to  the  eastward  we 
experienced  a  succession  of  strong  southerly  gales,  which,  with  a 
nasty  short  sea  and  very  thick  and  almost  continuous  fog,  made 
our  work  of  tracing  the  edge  of  the  ice  somewhat  hazardous,  as 
well  as  disagreeable.  On  such  occasions  the  thermometer  is  of 
the  greatest  service,  and  from  its  readings  the  proximity  of  ice 
may  be  very  accurately  estimated.  Soundings  were  taken  every 
two  hours;  the  water  in  the  Barentz  Sea  being  very  shallow,  we 
got  bottom  generally  from  thirty  to  eighty  fathoms.  B,  sibbaldii 
was  seen  once  or  twice  on  the  18th,  also  many  Kittiwakes  and  a 
few  Arctic  Terns.  We  were  favoured  with  a  few  hours  of  clear 
weather  on  the  18th  :  the  ice  to  the  northward  was  a  close  and 
impenetrable  pack,  as  hard  and  tight  as  a  season  of  continued 
southerly  gales  could  well  have  made  it ;  the  water  very  blue 
and  clear,  with  an  almost  total  absence  of  life  of  any  kind.  On 
the  evening  of  the  19th  a  great  many  Saddle  Seals  were  seen 
going   eastwards   along    the   ice-edge.       Kittiwakes   were   very 


numerous,  great  numbers  of  them  sitting  on  the  hummocks ; 
one  Polar  Bear  was  seen. 

The  day  following  having  been  led  as  far  southward  as  the 
75°  in  long.  40°  E.,  and  the  sky  denoting  the  continuation  of  the 
ice  still  farther  to  the  southward,  it  was  not  thought  expedient 
to  proceed  farther,  and  the  ship's  head  was  accordingly  turned 
westward,  once  more  towards  the  Greenland  ice.  As  to  the 
hoi3e  of  the  Barentz  Sea  ever  becoming  a  whaling-ground, 
Capt.  Gray,  in  his  log,  says  : — "  I  am  now  fully  convinced,  from 
the  quantity  of  ice  lying  east  of  Spitzbergen  this  year,  that  no 
open  passage  up  or  near  to  Franz  Joseph  Land  is  practicable. 
I  am  also  convinced  that  Franz  Joseph  Land  can  only  be 
reached  in  very  exceptional  seasons,  and  also  that  it  can  never 
be  of  any  value  as  a  resort  of  whalers,  the  passage  to  and 
from  Franz  Joseph  Land  being  far  too  uncertain  to  allow 
whaling  vessels  to  reach  their  cruising  ground  off  the  S.W.  and 
N.W.  coasts ;  for,  unless  our  ships  can  reach  their  cruising 
ground  at  least  in  nine  seasons  out  of  ten  it  would  be  impracticable 
— in  short,  incompatible  with  successful  commercial  enter- 
prise." That  the  Barentz  Sea  is  not  the  resort  of  B.  mysticetus 
is  almost  certain,  the  shallow  water  being  perfectly  imprac- 
ticable with  its  habits  ;  nevertheless,  far  removed  from  the  open 
ocean  as  the  shores  of  Franz  Joseph  Land  are,  the  bays  of 
its  western  coast  may  be  annually  visited  by  migrants  from  the 
Greenland  Sea. 

On  the  22nd  Saddle  Seals  were  very  numerous  ;  a  good  many 
Looms  and  one  flock  of  Brent  Geese  were  also  seen.  At  noon 
Hope  Island  bore  N.W.,  distant  about  thirty  miles ;  a  few 
"  bergs "  were  passed  in  the  evening.  As  on  our  passage 
eastward,  so  on  our  return  journey  across  the  Spitzbergen 
water,  B.  sibbaldii  was  seen  daily,  sometimes  very  numerous ; 
twenty  or  even  more  might  have  been  counted  blowing  at  one 
time  on  several  occasions.  But  the  observation  I  have  here  to 
make  is  that  during  the  day  few  or  none  were  to  be  seen,  and 
that  every  night  they  were  more  or  less  numerous,  always 
appearing  to  be  in  greatest  numbers  about  4  a.m.  If,  then, 
these  cetaceans  are  nocturnal  in  their  habits,  where  do  they 
obtain  rest  during  the  day  ?  It  may  be  said  by  some  that 
B.  mysticetus  would  be  able  to  find  a  snug  corner  amongst  the 
ice,  where  it  would  escape  observation.    Without  admitting  this, 

VOYAGE    OF    THE    '  ECLIPSE.'  127 

can  the  disappearance  of  B.  sibhaldii  and  H.  rostratus  be 
explained  otherwise  than  by  their  sleeping  under  water  ?  Why, 
of  course,  with  just  a  small  part  of  their  heads  above  the  sur- 
face,— incapable,  although  passive,  of  being  disturbed  by  wave- 
motion,  exceptions  to  the  laws  of  hydrostatics, — they  thus 
enjoy  perfect  rest,  and  those  men  who  for  their  livelihood  depend 
on  their  capture  have  seldom,  if  ever,  been  able  to  see  them  in 
this  position. 

As  to  the  northern  distribution  of  B.  sibhaldii*  I  should  like 
to  say  a  few  words.  It  has  already  been  shown  that  this  whale 
may  be  seen  in  water  little  above  freezing-point ;  that  it  is  seen 
in  water  under  32°  Fahr.  as  frequently  as  in  water  of  a  warmer 
temj^erature.  It  may  be  safely  assumed,  therefore,  that — other 
circumstances  being  favourable  —  Sibbald's  Rorqual,  insensible 
or  indifferent  to  a  few  degrees  of  warmth,  may  extend  its  migra- 
tions as  far  to  the  northward  as  it  is  inclined  ;  like  B.  mijsticetus, 
it  is  therefore  essentially  a  "  cold-water  whale."  While  passing 
over  that  part  of  the  Spitzbergen  Sea  belonging  to  the  North 
Greenland  whaling-ground,  already  defined,  the  number  of  these 
whales  seen  daily  reminded  us  that  only  a  few  weeks  ago  this 
part  of  the  sea  was  covered  with  ice,  and  that  Balcena  mysticetus 
most  probably  occupied  the  ground.  As  in  the  early  part  of  the 
season,  so  now  also,  the  water  was  found  to  contain  an  abundance 
of  Crustacea  and  Medusae,  Calanus  finmarckicus,  as  usual,  being 
by  far  the  most  abundant.  The  question  naturally  suggested 
itself  whether  these  minute  forms  of  surface-life  affording 
support  to  the  Greenland  Right  Whale  constitute  also  the  food 
of  these  "tinners."  It  is  certainly  in  accordance  with  the 
economy  of  Nature  to  suppose  that  as  the  ice  breaks  up  and 
dissolves  with  the  warmth  of  the  summer  sun,  and  Balcena 
mysticetus  is  enabled  to  advance  northwards  to  occupy  pastures 
new,  some  form  of  life  will  be  provided  to  occupy  the  ground  left 
vacant.     The  bulk  of  the  two  animals  being  nearly  the  same,t 

■■'  See  A.  H.  Cocks  on  "  The  Fiiiwhale  Fishery  on  the  Coast  of  Fin- 
luarken"  (Zool.  1884,  pp.  366,  417,  455). 

+  B.  sibhaldii  is  admittedly  the  longer ;  yet  I  venture  to  think  what  the 
Eight  "Whale  loses  by  its  length  it  almost  gains  by  its  great  girth  ;  and  that 
the  difference  between  the  two  in  bulk  is  not  so  great  as  is  generally 
supposed.  The  correct  girth  of  a  large  whale  is  very  difficult  to  ascertain, 
apart  from  the  size  of  the  animal,  owing  to  the  rapidity  with  which  the  body 


or,  in  other  words,  requiring  about  the  same  quantity  of  food  for 
their  support,  it  follows  that,  both  being  supplied  with  an 
apparatus  of  a  similar  nature  for  its  capture,  the  draining  power 
of  the  apparatus  in  both  cases  must  be  the  same.  Both  are 
inoffensive,  the  Eight  Whale  depending  on  its  diving  powers  for 
its  survival,  is  short  and  robust,  adapted  to  withstand  a  great 
pressure,  and  to  remain  a  considerable  length  of  time  under 
water.  Along  with  these  powers,  great  speed  is  unnecessary, 
perhaps  impossible.  Accordingly  we  find  this  animal  provided 
with  a  draining  apparatus  (if  I  may  use  a  convenient  expression) 
of  enormous  size,  its  baleen-plates  of  great  length,  slow  in  its 
movements,  and  sluggish  in  its  habits.  B.  sihhaldii,  on  the  con- 
trary, presents  reverse  characters,  depending  on  its  speed  for  its 
survival ;  we  find  it  an  animal  of  exceeding  length,  flattened 
laterally,  and  greatly  prolonged  hindward — characters  all  calcu- 
lated to  suggest  speed.  Witness  also  the  great  vertical  strength 
of  the  rump,  the  draining  apparatus  necessarily  small,  and  its 
baleen-plates  short,  swift  in  its  movements,  and  active  in  its 
habits.  Thus  it  becomes  evident  that,  great  as  is  the  difference 
in  length  of  the  baleen-plates  of  B.  mysticetus  and  B.  sihhaldii, 
and  consequently  also  in  the  size  of  their  draining  apparatus, 
this  difference  may  be  equalised  by  slowness  of  motion  on  the 
one  hand,  by  swiftness  on  the  other — in  short,  that  the  power 
of  the  draining  apparatus  of  the  one  is  about  equal  to  that  of 
the  other. 

If,  then,  the  above  reasoning  is  correct,  these  two  huge 
creatures,  depending  on  the  same  source  of  food  for  their 
existence,  differ  from  one  another  essentially  only  in  one  im- 

distends  after  death,  a  phenomenon  to  be  accounted  for  apparently,  m  the 
first  place,  by  the  relaxion  of  the  respiratory  ninseles  on  the  cessation  of 
rigor  mortis,  and  the  conseqiient  increase  in  the  size  of  the  chest  thereafter, 
but  mainly  by  the  generation  of  gases.  In  the  course  of  a  few  daj-s  a 
Greenland  Whale  will  resemble  a  balloon  rather  than  a  cetacean.  One  killed 
by  Capt.  Gray  in  the  '  Active,'  in  the  year  1866,  was  found  to  measure,  only 
six  days  after  being  killed,  43  feet  across  the  chest  from  tip  to  tip  of  the  fins; 
the  girth  was  most  probably  greater  than  the  entire  length  of  the  animal 
(about  55  feet).  Thus  it  is  probable  that  the  gi'eat  girth  (46  ft.)  of  the  Finuer 
stranded  at  Longniddry  was  likewise  largely  owing  to  this  latter  cause,  and 
that  the  girth,  and  consequently  also  the  bulk,  of  Sibbald's  Eorqual  may 
have  been  somewhat  over-estimated. 

VOYAGE    OF   THE    'ECLIPSE.'  129 

portant  point,  viz.  the  mode  of  their  survival.  Both  find  it 
necessary  to  retire  from  the  surface  to  obtain  their  food ;  there- 
fore each  must  be  able  to  exist  in  a  state  of  activity  for  a  longer 
or  shorter  period  with  the  respiratory  organs  secluded  from 
the  atmosphere.  Provision  to  permit  this  therefore  becomes 
necessary,  suited,  however,  to  different  requirements  and  circum- 
stances. In  the  first  instance,  we  find  that  a  large  store  of 
blood,  and  perhaps  a  sluggish  circulation,  are  perfectly  com- 
patible with  the  slowness  of  motion  of  the  Greenland  Eight 
Whale ;  that  this  is  the  case  we  have  only  to  regard  the  robust- 
ness of  the  animal  and  its  clumsy  appearance.  In  the  second 
instance,  however,  a  large  store  of  blood,  and  necessarily  also 
great  bulk,  are  not  compatible  with  the  active  habits  and  swift 
movements  of  the  Blue  Whale.  Although  undoubtedly  the 
fullest  possible  advantage  of  this  alternative  is  taken,  yet  if 
provision  so  obtained  were  alone  inadequate,  we  should  expect 
to  find  some  other  alternative  taken  advantage  of  to  the  extent 
required.  If  so,  then  some  trace  of  this  in  the  organization  of 
the  creature  will  be  found.  I  allude,  of  course,  to  dermal 
respiration,  the  possibility  of  such  playing  the  part  required  has 
only  to  be  remembered  to  lead  us  to  ex^^ect  that  sucb  a  simple 
and  convenient  means  of  eft'ecting  her  end  would  not  be  over- 
looked by  stature.  The  numerous  plicce  along  the  under  surface 
of  the  body,  of  which  no  reasonable  explanation  has  yet  been 
given,  have  evidently  the  function  of  increasing  the  surface  of 
the  skin  exposed  to  the  surrounding  medium,  and  these  are, 
I  venture  to  think,  simply  an  adaptation  to  the  additional 
respiration  carried  on  by  the  dermis,  as  rendered  necessary  by 
the  circumstances  already  explained. 

Eegard  now  all  the  Whalebone  Whales,  and  to  them  as  a 
class  apply  the  same  argument.  Living  upon  food  of  the  same 
nature,  all  the  members  of  this  group  agree  in  so  far  as  they 
are  supplied  with  a  similar  apparatus  for  its  capture,  viz.  the 
characteristic  baleen-plates.  As  we  have  already  seen,  however, 
some  for  their  survival  depend  upon  their  ability  to  withstand 
pressure,  others  on  their  speed.  Accordingly,  as  some  belong 
to  the  former  class  and  may  be  called  "  divers,"  others  belong  to 
the  latter  and  may  be  called  "non-divers  ; "  they  differ  from  one 
another  essentially  only  in  the  special  characters  rendered 
necessary.     With  the  first  group,  the  smooth  whales  (Balcenidce) 



correspond,  with  the  second,  the  furrowed  whales  {Balcsno- 
pteridce).  Finally,  in  relation  to  the  size  of  the  animal, 
according  to  the  above  argument,  the  length  of  the  baleen-plates 
should  be  in  accordance  with  the  degree  of  activity  characteristic 
of  the  particular  species  (or  even  individual)  and  the  plicce  or 
folds  of  the  skin  will  necessarily  be  proportionately  developed. 

In  the  following  table  I  have  arranged  several  of  the  different 
species  of  Whalebone  Whales  to  which  the  foregoing  observations 
apply,  with  their  characters  in  relation  to  their  size  stated  only 
generally.  The  conclusions  arrived  at  with  regard  to  the  degree 
of  activity  of  each  species,  I  venture  to  think  correspond 
sufficiently  with  our  knowledge  in  regard  thereto,  as  otherwise 
obtained,  to  establish  the  probability  of  this  explanation  of  the 
mysterious  plic<2  of  the  Fin  Whales  being  correct. 


Length  of 

Number  of 

Degree  of 




Balmia  myxticelus    . 

Very  lonp;. 



,,       biscaijensis   .     . 



Less  sluggish. 

Monodon  loiigiinana 




Balanoptera  sibhaldil    . 


More  numerous. 

More  active. 

„           musculus  . 


Very  numerous. 

Very  active. 

„           rostrata    . 

Very  short. 



Reaching  the  West  Ice  on  the  26th  of  July,  the  ice  was 
found  to  be  but  little  improved ;  nevertheless,  we  immediately 
commenced  cruising  for  whales.  B.  sibbalclii  seen  frequently, 
the  Finners  having  now  apparently  obtained  complete  possession 
of  the  South  Greenland  whaling-ground.  Narwhals,  Floe-rats, 
and  old  Saddle  Seals  were  very  numerous ;  an  occasional 
Bladder-nose  Seal  (P.  cristata)  was  also  seen ;  a  few  Bears  were 
shot.  The  water  was  nearly  always  green  in  colour,  but,  strange 
to  say,  contained  little  or  no  food ;  the  tow-net  might  have 
towed  an  hour  and  more  without  collecting  half  the  quantity  it 
would  have  done  in  a  few  minutes  in  the  early  part  of  the  season. 
Not  so  strange  perhaps  after  all,  for,  like  every  other  food-supply 
in  Nature,  these  "lanks"  most  likely  become  exhausted  towards 
the  end  of  summer,  and  the  winter's  frost  is  necessary  to  enable 
them,  to  become  restocked  before  the  next  spring.  Diatoms 
were,  of  course,  there, — perhaps  this  was  their  time  of  rest ;  the 

VOYAGE    OF   THE    'ECLIPSE.'  131 

grass  on  the  fields,  as  it  were,  was  growing,  the  pastures  were 
becoming  renewed  before  they  should  again  be  required  to 
produce  a  vast  quantity  of  minute  creatures  which  would,  in 
their  turn,  be  called  upon  to  support  the  huge  whale.  On 
August  1st  I  obtained  a  small  fish*  with  bright  golden  scales 
swimming  about  at  the  surface  of  the  water.  On  the  3rd  a 
specimen  of  Buffon's  Skua,  S.  longicaudatuSjf  was  obtained ;  a 
good  many  others  were  also  seen. 

August  5th.  Bore  up  for  Lerwick.  While  passing  Jan 
Mayen,  some  fifty  miles  to  the  eastward,  birds  were  numerous, 
Brent  Geese,  Botches,  and  Looms, — the  latter  with  their  young  ; 
this  was  on  the  8th.  The  day  following.  Botches  were  seen  with 
their  young,  and  one  Humpback  Whale,  B.  longimaria,  was  seen 
on  the  9th.  The  first  Gannet  was  noticed  on  the  13th.  The 
same  day  a  great  school  of  Killer-whales,  perhaps  fifty  in 
number,  made  their  appearance  on  our  lee-bow,  and,  passing 
underneath  the  ship,  were  again  seen  on  our  weather-quarter, 
continuing  their  course  to  the  N.W.  Birds  were  very  numerous 
some  fifty  miles  north  of  Lambaness,— Kittiwakes,  Black-headed 
Gulls,  Skuas,  Mother  Carey's  Chickens,  Gannets,  Looms  (?), 
and  several  times  a  strange  bird  was  seen,  quite  unknown  to 
me,  but  recognised  immediately  by  several  of  our  seamen  as  a 

Called  at  Lerwick  on  the  16tb,  and,  having  landed  the  Shet- 
land portion  of  our  crew,  we  proceeded  to  Peterhead,  which  we 
reached  in  due  course. 

*  This  fish  was  brought  home,  and  has  been  identified  as  Scopelus  muleri 
by  Dr.  Day  (see  'Nature,'  Oct.  14th,  1886). 

f  This  specimen,  as  well  as  the  Chimney  Swift  and  Wheatear  mentioned 
before,  were  brought  home  ;  they  are  now  in  the  hands  of  Mr.  George  Sim, 
A.L.S.,  Aberdeen,  who  confirms  their  identity. 



In  the  following  Table  (continued  from  p.  57)  will  be  found 
the  position  of  the  s.  s.  '  Eclipse,'  the  surface  temperature  of 
the  sea,  and  the  temperature  of  air,  at  noon,  on  the  different 
days  on  which  any  event  of  zoological  interest  is  recorded  as 
having  occurred :  — 


Ship's  Position. 








0     / 



June  5  .  •  . 


53  N. 

4  OE. 



„   6  .  .  . 



2  19  E. 



„   8  .  .  . 



1  16  E. 



„  11  .  .  . 



1  54  E. 



„  12  .  .  . 



3   OE. 



„  13  .  .  . 



4  12  E. 



„  19  .  .  . 



0    E. 



„  21  .  .  . 



0  52  W. 



„  24  .  .  . 



2  21  W. 



„  25  .  .  . 



1  10  W. 



„  28  .  .  . 



8  25  W. 



„  30  .  .  . 



9  0  W. 



July  2  .  .  . 



13  13  W. 



„   3  .  .  . 



14  52  W. 



„   4  .  .  . 



15  16  W. 



„   5  .  .  . 



14  59  W. 



„   7  .  .  . 



16  21  W. 



„  12  .  .  . 



4  36  W. 



„   15  .  .  . 



15  37  E. 



»  17  .  .  . 



25  40  E. 



„  18  .  .  . 



31  11  E. 



„  19  .  .  . 



36  OE. 



„  22  .  .  . 



27  23  E. 



„  26  .  .  . 



5  15  W. 



Aug.  1  .  .  . 



14  28  W. 



„   3  .  .  . 



14  40  W. 



„   8  .  .  . 



5  20  W. 



„   9  .  .  . 



2  57  W. 



„  13  .  .  . 



2  7  W. 



The  above  observations  have  been  extracted  from  the  ship's 
meteorological  log,  taken  therefore  with  the  best  instruments 
supplied  by  the  Meteorological  Office. 




Some  particulars  relating  to  the  capture,  size,  &c.,  of  the  seven 
Greenland  Eight  "Whales  captured  by  the  s.s.  '  Eclipse '  in 
1886 :— 



On  being  har- 
pooned remained 
under  water. 



Length  of 

longest  plate 

of  baleen. 


May  26  

„     27  

>  J               M        

„     28  

„      31  

Jiuie  6    

25  minutes  ... 






47  ft 

30  ft.  (about) 

9  ft.    1  in. 

20  minutes  . . . 

5  ,,     8  ,, 
4         6 

30  minutes  ... 
25         „       ... 
18         „       ... 

6  „  10  „ 

7  „     2  „ 
5   ,,     ■^  i> 

After  the  vessel's  arrival  in  port  it  was  found  that  these 
seven  whales  yielded  36  tons  of  oil  (252  gallons  per  ton),  and 
36  cwts.  of  whalebone.  By  the  following  table  it  will  be  seen 
how  unfavourably  this  result  compares  with  those  of  the  two 
preceding  seasons,  1884  and  1885  : — 


No.  of 







of  oil 


Yield  of  bone 



8  ft.  9  in. 
8ft.  4 in. 
4  ft.  2  in. 

10ft.  8  in. 

9ft.  1  in. 

9ft.  10  in. 
10  ft. 
6  ft.  4  in. 








The  question  naturally  arises  whether  the  1886  whales  are 
to  be  regarded  as  exceptionally  small,  or  those  of  1884  and  1885 
as  exceptionally  large.  By  way  of  an  answer  it  may  not  be  out 
of  place  here  to  state  that  Capt.  D.  Gray  has  ascertained  from 
the  comparison  of  some  two  hundred  individuals  captured  under 
his  supervision  in  the  Greenland  Seas  and  in  Davis  Straits 
during  the  last  forty  years,  that  the  measurements,  &c.,  of  an 
average  full-grown  male  Greenland  Eight  Whale  are  as  follows: — 

Of  the  entii'e  body — 

Length,  measured  between  perpendiculars  raised 
from  the  tip  of  the  lower  jaw  and  the  centre  of 
a  line  joining  the  tips  of  the  caudal  fin         ...     61  ft. 



17  ft. 
32  ft. 

10  ft. 

11  ft. 

10  ft.  6  iu. 

11  in. 

1  ft.    6  in. 

61  lbs. 

Greatest  girth,  about  3  ft.  behind  the  pectoral  fins     35  ft. 

Bulk  (about)  2500  cubic  ft. 

Weight  (about        70  tons. 

Of  the  head — 

Length,  from  the  articulation  of  the  lower  jaw  ... 

Girth  round  the  eyes 

Greatest  breadth  across  lower  jaw 

Of  the  baleen — 

(a).  The  longest  lamina  attached  to  each  side  of  the 
upper  jaw  (known  as  the  "sample  slip") — 


Breadth  across  its  attached  end  ... 

Length  of  the  "  hair  "  at  its  free  extremity 

Weight  after  removal  of  the  pulp  and  hair,  and 
after  being  thoroughly  dried     ... 
(b).  The  number  of  the  laminae — 

Total  number  exceeding  6  ft.  in  length  (known 
as  "  size  slips") 

Total  number  under  6  ft.,  but  long  enough  to  be 
considered  marketable,  the  shortest  being  about 
12  in.  in  length  (known  as  "  under  size  ")     ... 

Total  number  too  short  to  be  marketable,  being 
the  laminse  dwindled  towards  the  extremities 
of  the  jaws,  about 

Grand  total 
Of  the  pectoral  fins — 


Greatest  breadth    ... 
Of  the  caudal  fin — 

Breadth  from  tip  to  tip     ... 

Greatest  length 
Buch  an  animal  producing — 


Of  whalebone  (baleen)        

The  female  attains  greater  proportions  than  the  male, 
reaching,  when  full-grown,  an  average  length  of  about  53  ft., 
from  which  the  various  other  measurements  given  above  (except 
the  number  of  the  laminae,  which  is  the  same ;  the  yield  of  oil, 
which  is  18  tons,  and  the  yield  of  whalebone  18  cwts.)  may  be 
estimated,  these  appearing  to  be  in  the  same  relative  proportion 
to  the  extreme  length,  as  in  the  male. 




7  ft.  ( 

5  ft. 

20  ft. 

6  ft. 

15  tons. 
15  cwts. 


VOYAGE    OF    THE    '  ECLIPSE.'  135 

I  have  now  to  exj^lain  how  the  bulk  and  weight  given  above 
have  been  found,  and  how  the  number  of  the  laminae  of  baleen 
have  been  ascertained.  First,  with  regard  to  the  bulk  and 
weight.  In  1885  a  model  was  made  on  board  the  'Eclipse,' 
according  to  the  directions  of  Capt.  Gray;  it  was  compared 
frequently  during  the  voyage  with  the  animal  itself  as  it  lay 
alongside  the  ship  in  the  recent  state,  and  the  model  was 
intended  to  represent  an  animal  of  typical  proportions  rather 
than  one  of  very  unusual  size  (see  Plate  II.).  After  having  been 
exhibited  at  the  meeting  of  the  British  Association  in  Aberdeen 
it  was  finally  presented  to  the  Natural  History  Department  of 
the  British  Museum.  Before  its  leaving  Aberdeen,  however. 
Dr.  Struthers,  of  Marischal  College,  obtained  an  exact  copy,  and 
through  his  kindness  I  was  enabled  to  obtain  a  photograph  of 
his  model,  and  to  find  the  volume  of  water  it  displaces,  viz.  2661 
cub.  in.,  the  model  being  on  a  scale  of  one  inch  to  the  foot, 
2661  cub.  in.  =  2661  cub.  ft.,  being  therefore  the  bulk  of  the 
animal  of  which  the  model  is  a  representation.  Barely  floating 
when  in  the  recent  state,  sometimes  a  little  above  water  when 
seen  asleep,  the  weight  of  a  whale  is  fairly,  perhaps  exactly, 
represented  by  the  weight  of  the  volume  of  water  which  it 
displaces.  A  cubic  foot  of  sea-water  at  its  usual  sp.  gr.  1*030 
weighs  1030  ozs.  x  2661  =  76  tons,  which  is  therefore  the  weight 
of  the  animal  itself.* 

Next,  with  regard  to  the  baleen-plates.  "Whalebone  under 
six  feet- in  length  realises  only  half  the  price  obtained  for  that 
exceeding  that  length;  hence  the  distinction  "size"  and  "under- 
size."  For  a  number  of  years  the  owners  of  the  Peterhead  vessels 
have  been  in  the  habit  of  having  the  slips  of  bone  brought  home 
by  their  vessels  counted,  and  from  results  so  obtained  the  average 
number  of  slips  per  whale  has  been  found.  A  number  of  these 
results  are  given  below,  with  the  "  size  "  of  the  whales  from  which 
they  were  derived.  Now,  considering  that  the  number  of  the 
slips,  too  small  to  be  worth  bringing  home  (which  I  have  called 
"not  marketable"),  must  be  greater  in  a  small  whale  than  in  a 
large,  it  will  be  seen  that,  after  adding  a  number  (greater  in  the 

*  This  estimate  is  only  approximate,  depending  on  a  model  of  f^j,  and 
on  the  assumption  of  the  sp.  gr.  of  the  body  being  equal  to  that  of  its 
surrounding  medium. 



case  of  small  whales,  less  in  the  case  of  large),  a  total  will  be 
obtained,  which,  after  allowing  for  individual  variability,  will 
clearly  and  conclusively  prove  that  the  number  of  the  laminae 
does  not  increase  with  growth,  but  remains  constant.  It  follows, 
therefore,  that  with  increase  in  the  length  of  the  jaw  the  spaces 
between  the  laminae  must  become  greater. 











Brought  home 













ft.  in.. 


Greenland     . . 



4    6 


602    602 









6     2 









„     7 

6    4 











8     5 


212|  568 









9  10 








n           .... 



10    0 











12    0 


164'  610 


164    610 




Cumbland.  Glf . 

'86    1 

12     6 


1251  571 


125  1  571 



'''  Numbers   assumed    to   represent    nou-marketable    slips   or   slips  not 
brought  home. 

A  few  measurements  (taken  a  few  hours  after  death)  of  two  male 
Narwhals,  Monoclon  vionoceros,  killed  July  4th,  1886  : — 

Length  between  perpendiculars  erected  at 

Girth  just  behind  pectoral  fins 
Transverse  measurement  of  tail 
Antero-posterior  measurement  of  ditto 
Least  girth  of  rump 
Length  of  horn  projecting  beyond  sldn 
Thickness  of  blubber  on  the  body 
Dermis    ... 
Length  of  intestine 

ft.    in. 

67     0 



12     6 



5     9 



2     7 






1     0 



2     6 









(     137     ) 

By  Henry  Seebohm. 

The  philosophy  of  birds'  nests  and  eggs  involves  questions 
far  too  profound  to  be  settled  in  an  hour's  lecture.  The  extreme 
partisans  of  one  school  regard  birds  as  organic  automata.  They 
take  a  Calvinistic  view  of  bird-life  :  they  assume  that  the  Hedge- 
sparrow  lays  a  blue  egg  because,  under  the  stern  law  of  protective 
selection,  every  Hedge-sparrow's  egg  that  was  not  blue  was  tried 
in  the  high  court  of  Evolution,  under  the  clause  relative  to  the 
survival  of  the  fittest,  and  condemned,  a  hungry  Magpie  or  Crow 
being  the  executioner.  The  extreme  partisans  of  the  other  school 
take  an  entirely  opposite  view.  They  regard  the  little  Hedge- 
sparrow,  not  only  as  a  free  agent,  but  as  a  highly  intelligent  one, 
who  lays  blue  eggs  because  the  inherited  experience  of  many 
generations  has  convinced  her  that,  everything  considered,  blue 
is  the  most  suitable  colour  for  eggs. 

Perhaps  the  first  generalisation  that  the  egg-collector  is  likely 
to  make  is  the  fact  that  birds  that  breed  in  holes  lay  white  eggs. 
The  Sand  Martin  and  the  Kingfisher,  which  lay  their  eggs  at  the 
end  of  a  long  burrow  in  a  bank,   as  well  as  the  Owl  and  the 
Woodpecker,  which  bred  in  holes  in  trees,  all  lay  white  eggs. 
The  fact  of  the  eggs  being  white,  and  consequently  very  con- 
spicuous, may  have  been  the  cause,  the  efi'ect  being  that  only 
those  Kingfishers  which  breed  in  holes  survived  in  the  struggle 
for  existence  against  the  marauding  Magpie.     But  the  converse 
argument  is  equally  intelligible.    The  fact  that  Kingfishers  breed 
in  holes  may  have  been  the  cause,  and  the  whiteness  of  the  eggs 
the  effect ;  for  why  should  Nature,  who  is  generally  so  economical, 
waste  her  colouring-matter  on  an  egg  which,  being  incubated  in 
the  dark,  can  never  be  seen  ?     The  fact  that  many  Petrels  and 
most  Puffins,  which  breed  in  holes,  have  traces  of  spots  on  their 
eggs,  while  their  relations  the  Auks  and  the  Gulls,  who  lay  their 
eggs  in  open  nests,  nearly  all  lay  highly-coloured  eggs,  suggests 
the  theory  that  the  former  birds  have  comparatively  recently 
adopted  the  habit  of  breeding  in  holes,  and  that  consequently 
the  colour  being  no  longer  of  use  is  gradually  fading  away. 
Hence,  we  assume  that  the  colour  of  the  egg  is  probably  the 
effect  of  the  nature  of  the  locality  in  which  it  is  laid. 

ZOOLOGIST. — APRIL,  1887.  M 


The  second  generalisation  which  the  egg-collector  is  likely  to 
make  is  the  fact  that  so  many  of  these  birds  which  breed  in 
holes  are  gorgeously  coloured,  such  as  Kingfishers,  Parrots,  Bee- 
eaters,  &c.  The  question  naturally  arises.  Why  is  it  so  ?  The 
advocates  of  protective  selection  reply,  Because  their  gay  plumage 
made  them  so  conspicuous  as  they  sat  upon  their  nests,  that 
that  those  that  did  not  breed  in  holes  became  the  victims  of  the 
devouring  Hawk,  exactly  as  the  conspicuous  white  eggs  were 
eaten  by  the  marauding  Magpie.  But  the  advocates  of  sexual 
selection  say  that  all  birds  are  equally  vain,  and  wear  as  fine 
clothes  as  Nature  will  let  them,  and  that  the  Kingfisher  is  able 
to  dress  as  gorgeously  as  he  does  because  he  is  prudent  enough 
to  breed  in  a  hole  safe  from  the  prying  eyes  of  the  devouring 
Hawk.  The  fact  that  many  birds,  such  as  the  Sand  Martin  and 
the  Dipper,  which  breed  in  holes,  are  not  gorgeously  coloured, 
whilst  others,  such  as  the  Pheasants  and  Humming-birds,  are 
gorgeously  coloured,  but  do  not  breed  in  holes,  is  evidence,  as 
far  as  it  goes,  that  the  gorgeous  colour  of  the  bird  is  not  the 
effect  of  its  breeding  in  a  hole,  though  the  white  colour  of  the 
egg  probably  is.  It  must  be  admitted,  however,  that  the  latter 
cases  are  not  parallel.  Whilst  the  hen  Kingfishers  and  Bee- 
eaters  are  as  gorgeous  as  their  mates,  the  hen  Pheasants  and  the 
hen  Humming-birds  are  plainly,  not  to  say  shabbily,  dressed.  If 
birds  be  as  vain  as  the  advocates  of  sexual  selection  deem  them, 
it  must  be  a  source  of  deep  mortification  to  a  hen  Humming-bird 
to  have  to  pass  through  life  as  a  foil  to  her  rainbow-hued  mate. 
Whilst  the  Kingfisher  relies  for  the  safety  of  its  eggs  upon  the 
concealed  situation  of  its  nest,  the  Humming-bird  depends  upon 
the  unobtrusiveness  of  the  plumage  of  the  sitting  hen. 

A  very  large  number  of  birds,  such  as  the  Grouse,  the  Merlin, 
most  Gulls  and  Terns,  and  all  Sandpipers  and  Plovers,  rely  for 
the  safety  of  their  eggs  upon  the  similarity  of  their  colour  to  the 
ground  on  which  they  are  placed.  It  may  be  an  open  question 
whether  these  birds  select  a  site  for  their  breeding-ground  to 
match  the  colour  of  the  eggs,  or  whether  they  have  gradually 
changed  the  colour  of  their  eggs  to  match  the  ground  on  which 
they  breed ;  but,  in  the  absence  of  any  evidence  to  the  contrary, 
it  is  perhaps  fair  to  assume,  as  in  the  previously  mentioned 
cases,  that  the  position  of  the  nest  is  the  cause,  and  the  colour 
of  the  egg  the  effect. 

birds'  nests  and  eggs.  139 

Many  birds  make  their  nests  in  lofty  trees,  or  on  the  ledges 
of  precipitous  cliffs.  Of  these  the  Eagles,  Vultures,  and  Crows 
are  conspicuous  examples.  They  are,  for  the  most  part,  too 
powerful  to  be  afraid  of  the  marauding  Magpie,  and  only  fear 
the  attacks  of  beasts  of  prey,  amongst  which  they  doubtless 
classify  the  human  race.  They  rely  for  the  safety  of  their  eggs 
on  the  inaccessible  positions  of  the  nest.  Many  of  them  also 
belong  to  a  still  larger  group  of  birds  who  rely  for  the  safety 
of  their  eggs  upon  their  ability,  either  singly,  in  pairs,  or  in 
colonies,  to  defend  them  against  all  aggressors.  Few  colonies 
of  birds  are  more  interesting  than  those  of  Herons,  Cormorants, 
and  their  respective  allies.  These  birds  lay  Avhite  or  nearly 
white  eggs.  Nature,  with  her  customary  thrift,  has  lavished  no 
colour  upon  them  because,  apparently,  it  would  have  been 
wasted  effort  to  do  so;  but  the  eggs  of  the  Guillemot  are  a 
remarkable  exception  to  this  rule.  Few  eggs  are  more  gor- 
geously coloured,  and  no  eggs  exhibit  such  a  variety  of  colour. 
It  is  impossible  to  suppose  that  protective  selection  can  have 
produced  colours  so  conspicuous  on  the  white  ledges  of  the 
chalk  cliffs ;  and  sexual  selection  must  have  been  equally  power- 
less. It  would  be  too  ludicrous  a  suggestion  to  suppose  that 
a  cock  Guillemot  fell  in  love  with  a  plain-coloured  hen  because 
he  remembered  that  last  season  she  laid  a  gay-coloured  egg. 
It  cannot  be  accident  that  causes  the  Guillemot's  eggs  to  be  so 
handsome  and  so  varied.  In  the  case  of  birds  breeding  in  holes 
secure  from  the  prying  eyes  of  the  marauding  Magpie,  no  colour 
is  wasted  where  it  is  not  wanted. 

The  more  deeply  Nature  is  studied,  the  more  certain  seems 
to  be  the  conclusion  that  all  her  endless  variety  is  the  result 
of  evolution.  It  seems  also  to  be  more  and  more  certain  that 
natural  selection  is  not  the  cause  of  evolution,  but  only  its 
guide.  Variation  is  the  cause  of  evolution,  but  the  cause  of 
variation  is  unknoicn.  It  seems  to  be  a  mistake  to  call  variation 
spontaneous,  fortuitous,  or  accidental,  than  which  exjiressions 
no  adjectives  less  accurate  or  more  misleading  could  be  found. 
The  Athenian  philosophers  displayed  a  less  unscientific  attitude 
of  mind  towards  the  Unknown  when  they  built  an  altar  in 
its  honour.* 

'■=  Abstract  of  a  lectm-e  delivered  at  the  London  Institution. 


By  J.  H.  GuRNEY,  JuN.,  F.Z.S. 

The  following  notes  relate  to  ornithological  occurrences  in 
this  county  between  July  1st  and  December  31st,  1886.  The 
mildness  of  the  past  autumn  was  as  remarkable  as  the  effect  it 
had  upon  many  species  of  birds,  which  recommenced  nesting 
operations  as  if  spring  had  returned. 

On  October  14th  a  Thrush  was  sitting  on  four  eggs,  and  a 
few  days  previously  a  Yellowhammer's  nest  with  eggs  was  found 
at  Cley.  About  the  middle  of  the  mouth  a  tame  Goose  began  to 
lay  eggs,  and  several  leverets,  little  bigger  than  rats,  were  seen. 
Several  curious  varieties  of  common  species  were  obtained,  some 
of  which  may  be  worth  mentioning.  Amongst  others  a  Wheatear, 
Saxicola  o'liantJie,  was  shot  at  Blakeney  during  the  first  week  in 
August,  which  had  the  whole  of  the  crown  and  back  pure  white, 
the  under  parts  being  not  much  whiter  than  usual.  During 
September  Wheatears  were  very  numerous  among  the  sand-wort 
and  salt-wort  bushes  and  among  the  marram  hillocks.  A  Wren, 
Troglodytes  europcBus,  with  pied  wings,  made  its  appearance  at 
Northrepps  on  December  9th,  but  was  not  seen  again.  On 
Sept.  1st  I  shot  a  white  variety  of  the  Kinged  Plover,  Mgialitis 
hiaticnla,  at  Cley.  On  the  mud  it  appeared  to  be  snow-white, 
but  on  closer  examination  proved  to  have  a  little  brown  on  the 
collar,  tail,  and  primaries.  It  certainly  could  not  have  arrived 
many  hours,  for  so  conspicuous  an  object  could  hardly  have 
escaped  attention. 

It  seems  probable  that  the  Bittern  mentioned  at  p.  393  of 
last  year's  volume,  as  seen  several  times  in  June,  found  a  mate 
at  Ludham  Fen  and  nested  there ;  for  a  young  one  was  sent 
to  Mr.  Cole,  of  Norwich,  from  that  place  about  August  16th. 
Though  fully  feathered,  and  able  to  have  crossed  the  sea,  it  is 
not  very  likely  to  have  done  so  at  that  time  of  year. 

Four  Black  Terns,  Sterna  fissipes,  were  shot  at  Cley  in 
August  last.  They  were  all  young  birds,  differing  a  good 
deal  in  plumage ;  one  of  them  indeed  differing  so  much 
that  it  may  possibly  be  a  White-winged  Black  Tern,  as  the 
webs  are  slightly  more  incised — a  mark  of  distinction  noted 
by  Mr.  Saunders  (Yarrell's  '  British  Birds,'  iii.  p.  526) ;  but  the 


immature  plumage  of  these  two  species  requires  an  expert  to 
distinguish  them.  An  immature  female  specimen  of  S.  fissipes 
was  obtained  at  Barton  about  the  same  time. 

About  October  19th  two  Little  Gulls,  Larus  minutas,  were 
killed  at  one  shot,  at  Blakeney,  one  of  them  an  adult  bird,  the 
other  in  an  intermediate  state  of  plumage  between  old  and 
young.  About  December  20th  an  Egyptian  Goose  was  shot  at 
Eockland,  and  another  was  obtained  elsewhere  about  the  sam? 
time.  A  Eed-breasted  Merganser,  Mergus  serrator,  was  fornix* 
on  the  shore  at  Overstrand  on  October  27th ;  and,  as  I  learn 
from  Lord  Lilford,  a  white  Scoter,  (Edemia  nigra,  was  seer>  in 
Lynn  Deeps  by  Capt.  J.  Vipan  on  December  10th. 

It  seems  likely  that  more  than  two  pairs  of  Shelduck, 
Tadorna  vuljmnser,  nested  at  the  point  of  coast  alluded  to  in  my 
last  Notes  (Zool.  1886,  p.  393).  Two  eggs  of  this  species  were 
taken  from  a  rabbits'  hole,  which,  according  to  the  finder,  must 
soon  after  have  been  filled  with  water  by  the  tide,  and  one  of 
them  was  hatched  under  a  hen.  The  young  bird  lived  a  short 
time  in  my  garden,  and  became  so  tame  that  it  would  take 
worms  out  of  the  hand.  Some  more  young  ones  were  found 
dead  at  high-water  mark,  probably  drowned.  They  were  not 
all  of  the  same  size,  and  probably  formed  part  of  two  broods. 
Col.  Hawker  mentions  that  different  broods  will  associate  in 
the  same  flock,  sometimes  to  the  number  of  100  birds.  On 
September  15th  a  family  party  of  young  Shelducks,  sheltering 
under  Salthouse  sea-wall  from  a  N.E.  wind,  allowed  a  near 
approach,  and  one  of  their  number  was  easily  shot.  It  showed 
the  white  face  and  other  marks  of  immature  plumage ;  but  the 
family,  having  once  learnt  wisdom  by  experience,  could  not  be 
approached  again. 

Mr.  Seebohm,  in  his  'British  Birds'  (vol.  iii.  p.  520),  states 
that  the  Shelduck  is  provincially  known  in  Norfolk  as  the  "Bar- 
gander,"  but  I  have  never  heard  it  called  anything  but  "Burrow- 
duck"  in  this  county,  and  believe  it  invariably  selects  a  burrow 
to  nest  in.  In  the  last  published  volume  of  the  '  Encyclopaedia 
Britannica '  (p.  788)  there  is  an  admirable  article  on  the  Shel- 
duck by  Prof.  Newton,  in  which  it  is  stated  that  the  name 
"Bergander"  is  now  almost  obsolete,  which,  so  far  as  this 
county  is  concerned,  is  I  think  the  case.  [The  Editor  has  heard 
the  name  "  Bargander  "  applied  to  the  Shelldrake  by  professional 


fishermen  and  wild-fowlers  on  the  Sussex  coast,  where  it  is  an 
occasional  visitor  in  autumn.] 

About  August  10th  a  young  Ked-necked  Grebe,  Podiceps 
ruhricollis,  was  shot  on  a  little  pool  inside  the  sea-wall  at 
Salthouse.  I  never  saw  a  more  immature  example  as  to 
plumage,  the  black  stripes  on  the  throat  being  very  strongly 
marked ;  but  of  course  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  that 
it  was  bred  in  Norfolk.  The  Ked-necked  Grebe  has  occurred 
in  Norfolk  in  every  stage  of  plumage,  even  to  the  most 
perfect  breeding-garb.  I  saw  a  "variety,"  nearly  white,  with 
a  sandy  tinge,  some  time  ago  at  Cambridge,  which  had  been 
killed  in  the  Eastern  Counties.  A  perfectly  white  one,  obtained 
at  Eastbourne  (Zool.  1879,  p.  377),  is  now  in  the  collection  of 
Mr.  Marshall,  of  Belmont,  Taunton. 

As  varieties  among  Grebes  are  so  very  rare,  it  may  be  worth 
digressing  to  say  that  in  the  collection  of  Mr.  J.  G.  Barclay,  of 
Leyton,  is  a  sandy-coloured  Great  Crested  Grebe,  obtained  in 
Leadenhall  Market.  Mr.  E.  T.  Booth,  in  his  Catalogue  of  the 
Birds  in  the  Brighton  Museum,  mentions  a  white  Sclavonian 

A  Diver,  believed  to  have  been  a  Black-throated,  Colymbus 
arcticus,  was  seen  by  Messrs.  F.  C.  and  0.  V.  Aplin  at  Cromer 
on  November  20tli. 

An  immature  Black  Guillemot,  Uria  (jrylle,  was  shot  at  Cley 
on  December  20th. 

By  G.  H.  Caton  Haigh. 

For  several  years  past  I  have  paid  some  attention  to  Bats  in 
North  Lincolshire,  and  have  succeeded  in  identifying  five  species 
(the  same  number  as  recorded  by  Lord  Lilford  (j)p.  61  -  67)  from 
Northamptonshire) ;  only  three  of  these,  however,  can  be 
considered  at  all  common.  The  five  species  which  I  have 
obtained  in  North  Lincolnshire  (using  the  nomenclature  of  Bell's 
'  British  Quadrupeds  ')  are  : — 

Scotophilus  noctula.  —  This  fine  species  is  by  no  means 
uncommon.  It  is  usually  the  first  of  the  Bats  to  come  abroad 
in  the  evening,  frequently  appearing  before  the  sun  has  set.     At 


this  hour,  if  the  evening  be  fine,  it  flies  at  a  great  height,  but  as 
the  darkness  increases  it  is  usually  seen  at  a  lower  elevation. 
In  cold  or  windy  weather  also  it  seldom  flies  high.  It  generally 
selects  a  hollow  tree  for  a  resting-place  during  the  daytime,  but 
last  summer  I  often  noticed  the  appearance  of  several  of  these 
Bats  about  a  rookery  composed  chiefly  of  young  trees,  on  which 
I  could  detect  no  holes.  The  old  gamekeeper,  to  whom  I 
mentioned  the  circumstance,  said  that  he  thought  they  came 
out  of  the  rooks'  nests,  as  he  had  several  times  found  Bats 
among  the  loose  sticks  forming  their  foundations.  The  Noctule 
is,  I  believe,  the  first  of  the  Bats  to  retire  in  the  autumn,  and  is 
not  often  seen  abroad  after  the  end  of  August ;  but  during  the 
very  hot  weather  of  last  autumn  (1886)  I  saw  several  individuals 
of  this  species  almost  every  evening  uj)  to  October  4th.  This  is 
the  latest  date  I  have  noted,  though  it  has  been  recorded  to  have 
been  seen  in  November  ('The  Field,'  Nov.  19th,  1881).  The 
loud  harsh  squeak  of  this  Bat  when  flying  overhead  is  well 
known.  I  have  heard  it  utter  another  note — a  sort  of  prolonged 
chirp — not  unlike  that  of  the  Long-eared  Bat.  This  is  always 
uttered  when  near  the  ground,  usually  when  entering  or  leaving 
its  diurnal  retreat. 

Scotophilus  pijnstrellus. — This  little  Bat  is  excessively  abun- 
dant, greatly  outnumbering  all  the  other  species  put  together. 
It  comes  abroad  early  in  the  evening,  though,  unlike  the  Noctule, 
it  is  seldom  seen  before  sunset.  The  Pipistrelle  is  occasionally 
seen  abroad  in  winter,  even  in  very  cold  weather.  One  was 
observed  flying  round  a  cottage  in  the  village  of  Grain  shy  on 
January  10th  last,  a  bright  moonlight  night  with  deep  snow  on 
the  ground.  Yet,  although  a  few  may  be  seen  abroad  in  every 
month  of  the  year,  the  majority  disappear  in  October. 

Vespertilio  nattereri.  —  The  Eeddish-grey  Bat  is  apparently 
very  rare  in  this  district,  as  I  have  only  met  with  it  once.  A 
single  specimen  was  picked  up  by  one  of  the  gamekeepers  in  a 
grass-field  near  the  village  of  Grainsby  in  July,  1876.  It  was 
alive,  but  unable  to  fly,  and  died  on  the  following  day.  Although 
I  have  ever  since  looked  out  for  this  Bat,  I  have  failed  to  meet 
with  it  again. 

Vespertilio  dauhentonii. — This  species  ought  probably  to  be 
described  as  local  rather  than  rare,  though  at  present  I  only 
know  of  one  locality  where  it  is  not  uncommon.     As  many  as 


a  dozen  may  be  seen  there  at  once  flying  over  the  surface  of 
a  large  pond  partly  overhung  with  willows.  It  appears  more 
sensitive  to  cold  than  other  Bats  are ;  on  a  slight  fall  in  the 
temperature  not  a  single  individual  is  to  be  seen  out,  sometimes 
for  days  together.     It  comes  abroad  rather  late  in  the  evening. 

Plecotus  auritus. — The  Long-eared  Bat  is  generally  distributed 
and  fairly  common,  though  I  have  never  seen  it  in  any  abundance. 
It  is  usually  the  last  of  the  Bats  to  come  abroad  in  the  evening, 
seldom  appearing  till  it  is  nearly  dark.  From  this  circumstance 
it  might  easily  be  overlooked  were  it  not  for  its  peculiar  cry, 
which  differs  considerably  from  that  of  all  the  other  Bats  with 
which  I  am  acquainted.  I  have  only  once  seen  this  species 
abroad  before  sunset.  In  Bell's  '  British  Quadrupeds  '  (2nd  ed.) 
it  is  stated  that  "the  Long-eared  Bat  appears  to  frequent  open 
country  more  than  many  other  species."  My  own  observations 
in  North  Lincolnshire  lead  me  to  the  conclusion  that  here,  at 
least,  the  reverse  of  this  is  the  case,  for  I  cannot  recall  a  single 
instance  in  which  I  have  met  with  this  Bat  away  from  the 
vicinity  of  trees  or  buildings.  It  generally  flies  low,  amongst 
the  tree-trunks  and  branches,  and  appears  to  take  its  insect-food 
from  the  bark  and  leaves  rather  than  on  the  wing.  The  lime- 
tree,  when  in  flower,  seems  to  afford  it  great  attraction. 

I  have  reason  to  believe  that  there  is  at  least  one  more 
species  to  be  added  to  this  list,  for  I  have  frequently  observed  a 
rather  large  dark-coloured  Bat  flying  low  over  grass-land,  so  low 
as  only  just  to  clear  the  higher  stalks  of  grass.  It  moves  heavily 
with  slow  flaps  of  its  wings,  and  is  generally  seen  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  trees.  I  hope  that  this  may  prove  to  be  the  Barbastelle, 
but  from  its  mode  of  flight  it  is  difficult  to  obtain  a  specimen. 

The  Whiskered  Bat,  mentioned  by  Lord  Lilford  (p.  66)  as 
occurring  in  Northamptonshire,  and  also  recorded  from  Yorkshire 
by  Clarke  and  Eoebuck  in  their  '  Handbook  of  Yorkshire  Verte- 
brates,' I  have  been  unable  to  identify  in  Lincolnshire,  though  I 
have  looked  for  it  carefully,  and  am  well  acquainted  with  the 
species,  which  is  not  uncommon  in  some  parts  of  North  Wales. 

I  hope  Lincolnshire  naturalists  may  be  able  to  add  to  this 
short  list,  for  there  may  be  several  species  as  yet  unrecorded.  The 
Whiskered  Bat  may  possibly  occur ;  the  Barbastelle,  as  stated 
above,  probably  does  so.  It  would  also  be  interesting  to  hear  of 
other  localities  for  Vespertilio  nattcreri  and  V.  datihentonii. 

(     145     ) 



By  Edward  Lovett. 

(Continued  from  vol  x.,  p.  177.) 

Nika  edulis,  Risso. 
This  remarkable  crustacean,  belonging  to  a  genus  of  which 
only  two  species  are  known  on  our  shores,  is  also  very  rare, 
except    in   isolated    localities,    where    it   is    sometimes    fairly 
abundant.     It  may,   however,  probably  occur  more   generally 
than  is  supposed,  for,  having  a  general  resemblance  when  boiled 
to   one  of  the  prawns,   it  may  often  pass  and  be  even  eaten 
unnoticed  and  uncared  for.     As  it  occurs  in  such  spots  as  are 
frequented  by  prawns,  it  may  be  looked  for  with  a  prospect  of 
success  amongst  the  "  catch  "  of  a  prawn-fisher.     Its  general 
description  is  as  follows  : — Carapace  in  appearance  somewhat 
like  that  of  the  Lesser  Prawn,  but  with  this  striking  difference — 
the  rostrum,  instead  of  being  large,  serrated,  and  curved,  is 
simple,  straight,  and  very  small ;  there  is  a  spine  on  either  side 
of  it   protecting   the   eyes.     The   antennae   are  very   long  and 
slender,  and  the  legs  are  also  rather  long  ;  the  first  pair  are  so 
remarkable  that  Bell,  in  his  standard  work,   says  that  by  this 
peculiarity  this  genus  may  be  distinguished  from  every  other 
form  of  crustacean.     The  one  is  a  pincer-claw,  similar  in  this 
respect  to  the  primary  legs   of  crustaceans   in   general;    the 
other  a  simple  terminal  hook -joint ;  or,  in  other  words,  one  foot 
is  didactyle  and  the  other  monodactyle.      So  far  as  I  have  been 
able  to  examine  specimens,  I  have  found  the  right  foot  to  be  the 
one  armed  with  a  pincer,  and  the  left  the  one-fingered  limb  in 
every  case ;  I  was,  however,  prepared  to  find  exceptions  to  this 
rule,  and  they  may  occur,  as  in  the  case  of  species  already  referred 
to;   the  right  or  left  is  the  "  large"  claw,  though  generally  the 
right,  and  I  consider  the  irregularity  in  this  species  corresponds 
to  the  difference  in  size  of  claws  in  other  species  and  genera. 
This  disparity  in  the  sizes  of  corresponding  limbs  I  have  already 
discussed  in  former  notes. 

The   colour  of  this   species   is  a   bright   transparent   pink, 
becoming,  however,  an  opaque  but  bright  red  when  boiled,  even 


brighter  than  the  Thames  "  shrimp,"  which,  by  the  way,  is  not 
a  shrimp. 

My  own  specimens  of  Nika  edulis  are  all  from  Jersey,  where 
it  occasionally  occurs  in  sufficient  numbers  to  be  offered  in  the 
market  in  small  lots  for  sale  as  "  shrimps."  I  have  seen  about 
twenty  or  thirty  of  this  rare  crustacean  exposed  on  a  cabbage- 
leaf,  prawns  or  shrimps  being  certainly  less  abundant  as  a  rule 
in  the  Channel  Islands  than  they  are  in  many  of  our  own  south- 
coast  towns ;  hence,  when  anything  of  the  sort  occurs  in  the 
market,  the  chances  are  it  is  something  rare.  Fish-markets 
afford  a  good  hunting-ground  in  this  respect  for  the  marine 
zoologist,  though  a  minute  examination  of  the  specimens  elicits 
a  somewhat  annoying  response  from  the  fish-wives,  who  imagine 
the  naturalist  is  probably  a  large  purchaser.  I  have  never  been 
able  to  obtain  specimens  of  Nika  edulis  alive,  and  have  therefore 
never  seen  them  in  their  native  haunts ;  but  I  have  been 
informed  by  fishermen  that  they  capture  them  generally  at 
about  one  or  two  o'clock  in  the  morning ;  indeed,  there  are  two 
or  three  crustaceans  to  which  the  seemingly  remarkable  rule 
applies,  and  I  think  it  must  be  correct.  I  know  the  Jersey 
fishermen  are  on  the  coast  at  all  hours,  because  when  they  are 
working  their  crab-pots  they  have  to  go  out  to  them  whenever 
the  tide  is  favourable,  and,  as  they  often  take  a  push-net  with 
them  to  work  any  sandy  reach  on  their  way,  they  soon  come  to 
know  when  and  where  any  particular  species  may  be  procured.* 
More  than  one  crustacean  which  I  had  hitherto  regarded  as  very 
rare  has  turned  up  in  comparative  abundance  in  the  small  hours 
of  the  morning  at  a  certain  spot  known  to  one  of  these  fishermen. 
This  is  very  likely  their  feeding-time,  and  I  consider  that  they 
probably  pass  most  of  their  time  just  below  the  surface  of  the 
wet  sand ;  hence  the  reason  of  their  being  so  seldom  seen. 

Bell  states  that  Leach's  original  specimen  was  obtained  by 
Montagu  at  Torcross ;  his  own  type-specimen  from  Bognor, 
where  it  was  served  up  to  him  for  breakfast  amongst  some 
prawns ;   and  that,  according  to  Mr.  W-  Thompson,   there  are 

*  Mr.  Siuel,  of  Jersey,  who  has  been  fortunate  enough  to  obtain  NiJca 
edulis  alive  and  to  have  kept  it  for  a  short  time  in  an  aquarium,  informs  me 
that  towards  night-time  it  emerges  from  concealment  and  becomes  very 
lively  indeed,  and  that  its  eyes  gleam  like  rubies  in  the  dark. 


specimens  in  the  collection  made  in  the  South  of  Ireland  by 
Mr.  Vaughan  Thompson.  Besides  these  localities  it  has  been 
recorded  from  Shetland,  as  very  local  and  in  deep  water ;  Galway, 
rare ;  Cornwall,  occasionally  on  stony  ground  in  thirty  fathoms  ; 
and  also  from  the  Adriatic  Sea. 

Nika  Couchii,  Bell, 

The  second  British  species  of  the  genus  is  described  by  Bell 
from  one  sj^ecimen  sent  him  by  Mr.  Couch,  after  whom  he 
named  it.  I  have  never  met  with  it  myself,  nor  have  I  ever 
heard  of  any  one  who  has ;  indeed  in  the  '  Annals  and  Magazine 
of  Natural  History,'  1868  (vol.  ii.  p.  120),  it  is  considered  to  be 
a  variety  of  the  last-named  species,  in  which  I  am  inclined  to 
concur  after  what  I  have  seen  of  the  extreme  variability  of 
crustaceans  generally.  Bell  was  an  exceedingly  careful  observer, 
but,  although  he  claims  some  fairly  distinct  features  for  his 
species, — such  as  the  didactyle  hand  being  shorter  than  the  wrist, 
the  former  slightly,  the  latter  more  considerably,  curved,  middle 
plate  of  tail  attenuated  towards  the  extremity  and  not  furrowed, 
and  the  whole  animal  being  longer  in  proportion  to  its  other 
dimensions, — still  he  only  examined  a  single  specimen  of  this, 
and  does  not  appear  to  have  seen  any  number  of  the  previous 
species.  I  think  therefore  that  until  its  specific  identity  is 
proved  by,  at  any  rate,  a  fair  series  of  examples,  it  is  preferable 
to  regard  it  as  a  variety,  especially  as  variation  is  so  constantly 

Athanas  nitescens,  Leach. 

This  very  beautiful  crustacean  is  much  like  a  young  lobster, 
or,  as  Bell  remarks,  a  young  Astacus.  Its  carapace  is  smooth 
and  slightly  compressed  laterally ;  the  antennae  are  scarcely  more 
than  half  the  length  of  the  whole  animal,  and  the  first  pair  of 
legs  are  furnished  with  robust  pincers,  which  are,  however,  nearly 
always  equal  in  size, — a  somewhat  unusual  occurrence.  The 
external  plates  of  the  tail  have  a  transverse  division  one-third 
of  their  length  from  their  termination  ;  this  feature  is  strongly 
marked  in  the  Astacidce,  so  that  this  resemblance  is  interesting 
The  tail-plates  are  beautifully  fringed  with  setae. 

The  colour  of  Athanas  nitescens  is  somewhat  variable,  being 
sometimes  of  a  warm  reddish  brown,  and  at  others  of  a 
decidedly  dark  green  tinge.     Bell,  who  was  not  fortunate  enough 



to  see  many  of  this  species,  and  who  probably  never  examined 
one  alive,  writes,  "Colour  light  buff?"  As  this  is  the  tint  of  a 
much  dried  and  bleached  specimen,  he  evidently  felt  the 
necessity  for  making  this  statement  in  doubt.  He  also  states 
that  the  length  of  Leach's  specimens  is  rather  more  than  half 
an  inch,  whereas,  judging  from  the  number  of  specimens  that 
have  passed  through  my  hands,  I  should  say  that  the  length  of 
the  mature  animal,  from  the  tip  of  the  rostrum  to  the  tip  of  the 
tail-plate,  was  nearer  an  inch. 

The  usual  habitat  of  this  species  is  under  little  stones  or  bits 
of  shell  that  have  collected  in  the  hollows  often  formed  under 
some  large  boulder ;  but,  so  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  ascertain, 
it  is  never  found  upon  a  sandy  or  muddy  bottom.  Favourite 
spots  may  be  seen  among  the  low-tide  pools  of  St.  Clement's 
Bay,  or  Grouville  Bay,  Jersey ;  and  here,  with  a  little  careful 
search,  may  be  found  this  uncommon  crustacean,  at  times  in 
considerable  numbers.  Mr.  Sinel  informs  me  that  he  has  taken 
it  with  ova  from  -January  to  September. 

Bell  states  that  this  species  was  discovered  by  Montagu  and 
sent  to  Dr.  Leach,  who  asserts  that  it  occurs  in  rock-pools  left 
by  the  tide  on  the  Devon  and  Cornwall  coasts.  It  has  also  been 
recorded  from  Galway,  from  "the  coast  of  France,"  and  from 
the  Adriatic  Sea. 

Hippolyte  spinus,  Sowerby. 

This  is  a  genus  about  which  I  can  say  but  little,  since  I  have 
unfortunately  had  very  little  opportunity  of  seeing  many  speci- 
mens of  it.  There  are  moreover  a  few  species  described  in 
various  reports,  &c.,  which  were  evidently  unknown  to  Bell 
when  he  published  his  work  on  the  Stalk-eyed  Crustacea,  and 
his  genus  has  since  been  subdivided,  so  that  it  is  now  difficult, 
without  further  examination  of  specimens,  to  say  much  that 
would  be  of  use  to  the  student. 

As  regards  this  particular  species,  however  {H.  sjnnus),  it 
may  be  described  as  follows  : — The  general  form  is  very  robust, 
the  cephalothorax  particularly  so,  and  armed  with  a  powerful 
rostrum,  which  springs  from  a  serrated  ridge  commencing  at 
the  juncture  with  the  abdominal  segments.  These  abdominal 
segments  are  humj)ed  in  the  middle,  the  third  segment  forming 
in  its  centre  a  strong  spine,  curved  downwards  towards  the  tail, 


whence  probably  the  name  of  the  animal.  The  first  pair  of 
legs  are  short,  with  small  rounded  claws.  The  length  is  about 
an  inch  to  an  inch  and  a  half,  and  the  colour,  I  believe,  similar 
to  a  shrimp,  but  variable ;  those  I  have  seen  being  only  dead 

It  is  stated  by  Bell  to  be  exclusively  a  northern  species,  but  I 
obtained  all  my  specimens  from  off  Harwich,  where  they  were 
taken  in  shrimp-nets.  Milne-Edwards  says  it  is  found  in  the 
seas  of  Iceland  and  Greenland.  It  has  also  been  recorded  from 
the  Isle  of  Man  (deep  water),  St.  Andrews  (deep  water),  and 
the  Firth  of  Forth. 

Hii')ioolytc  varians,  Leach. 

This  species  has,  I  believe,  been  removed  to  the  genus 
Caradina.  It  differs  from  the  preceding  by  the  absence  of  the 
spine  on  the  third  segment,  by  a  smooth  carapace  and  slender 
rostrum,  and  also  in  being  smaller  and  much  less  robust  in  form. 
It  is  undoubtedly  one  of  the  most  beautiful  of  the  smaller 
crustaceans,  and  is  often  of  a  lovely  transparent  green  tint, 
which  enables  it  to  pass  almost  unnoticed  in  the  AlgaB-lined 
rock-pools,  where  it  lives ;  it  is  quite  common  in  our  southern 
and  warmer  localities,  Jersey,  of  course,  being  a  specially  good 
locality.  It  is  also  recorded  from  Devon  and  Cornwall,  eastward 
as  far  as  Poole  Harbour,  Dorsetshire,  as  well  as  from  the  coasts 
of  Connemara  and  Dublin. 

According  to  Bell,  it  loses  its  lovely  green  colour  soon  after 
death,  but  with  careful  preparation  I  find  that  it  can  be  almost 
entirely  retained, 

Hippolyte  Cranchii,  Leach. 

In  this  species  the  carapace  is  short  and  rounded,  the  rostrum 
has  three  serrations,  and  the  whole  animal  is  shorter  and 
slightly  more  robust  than  the  last  mentioned.  The  central  or 
spine-plate  of  the  tail  is  sharply  spinous  on  either  side.  The 
length  of  the  animal  is  from  half  an  inch  to  three-quarters  of 
an  inch. 

It  has  been  recorded  by  Bell  from  Torbay,  Salcombe  Bay, 
Poole,  and  Loch  Fyne;  and  has  since  been  recorded  from  Ardbea 
Bay,  West  Coast  of  Ireland,  in  four  fathoms ;  Dublin,  not 
uncommon ;  Galway,  common ;  Belfast ;  South  Devon  and 
Harwich  (in  shrimp-nets). 


Hippohjtc  Thompsoni,  Bell. 
This  species  is  characterised  by  its  describer  as  differing  in  a 
few  minor  details  from  some  of  the  other  species.  He  states 
that  he  saw  but  one  specimen,  and,  as  his  figure  is  in  general 
details  very  like  that  of  H.  spinus,  I  think  it  probable  that  this 
is  merely  a  variety  of  that  species. 

Hippolyte  Prideauxiana,  Leach. 

This  species  has  been  described  by  Bell  as  being  like 
H.  varians,  but  much  smaller,  and  of  a  reddish  brown  colour. 
The  rostrum  is  straight  and  smooth  on  the  upper  surface,  and 
the  abdomen  is  much  bent  at  the  third  segment.  It  has  been 
recorded  from  the  coast  of  Devonshire. 

Hippolyte  imndaliformis,  Bell. 

Under  this  name  Bell  described  two  specimens  which  were 
obtained  from  Loch  Fyne.  He  states  that  it  bears  a  remarkable 
resemblance  to  Pandcdus  annulicornis,  but  that  at  the  same  time 
it  is  in  all  its  essential  characters  a  true  Hippolyte. 

It  has,  I  believe,  been  since  taken  in  the  Hebrides  in  1866, 
and  in  Shetland  in  1868. 

Hippolyte  cidtellata,  Norman. 

In  the  British  Association  Keports,  1866  and  1868,  this 
species  is  recorded  from  the  Minch  and  Shetland. 

Hip)polyte  securifrons,  Norman. 

In  the  '  Transactions  of  the  Tyneside  Naturalists'  Field  Club,' 
1863,  this  species  is  noticed,  and  is  stated  to  have  been  taken  at 
St.  Andrews,  Shetland,  Berwick,  and  the  Dogger  Bank,  It  is 
said  to  closely  resemble  H.  spinus.  Hippolyte  fascigera  and 
H.  j)usiola  have  been  both  recorded,  but  I  am  unable  to  give  any 
details  with  certainty. 

In  a  genus  like  Hippolyte  we  find  a  large  number  of  described 
species,  some  of  which  are  clearly  distinct,  others  doubtful.  I 
have  no  practical  acquaintance  with  the  species  under  notice, 
but  it  is  worth  remarking  that  whereas  some  of  the  species  are 
clearly  southern  in  their  distribution,  others  are  as  distinctly 
northern,  while  others  again  are  generally  distributed.      Now, 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  151 

considering  the  vast  difference  in  the  surrounding  conditions  of 
even  North  and  South  Britain,  and  considering  also  the 
interesting  and  curious  diversification  of  the  several  species 
above  described,  we  may  reasonably  conclude  that  five  good 
species  probably  represent  the  genus  in  this  country,  the 
remainder  being  merely  varieties. 

(To  be  continued.) 



Mares  and  Foals  versus  Wolves. — When  in  the  Asturias  in  1885, 
I  was  told  of  a  very  curious  case  of  animal  instinct,  which  may  be  worth 
recording.  Wolves  are  by  no  means  infrequent  in  the  Asturias,  and  often 
attack  the  young  foals  which  are  sent  up  to  pasturage  with  the  mares  in  the 
mountains.  The  experienced  danger  seems  to  have  begotten  a  precautionary 
instinct  of  a  very  intelligent  kind.  It  is  said  that,  on  an  alarm  of  Wolves, 
the  mares  and  foals  congregate  for  mutual  protection  and  common 
defence.  The  mares  form  themselves  into  a  sort  of  cordon,  lieads  outwards, 
surrounding  a  space  enclosing  the  young  foals,  and  are  ready  for  attacking 
with  their  fore  feet  the  Wolves  on  their  approach.  My  informant  gave  me 
a  graphic  account  of  such  an  attack,  of  which  he  was  an  eye-witness  for 
nearly  an  hour,  and  described  to  me  how  the  Wolves  circled  round  and 
round  the  defenders,  first  at  some  distance,  then  gradually  approaching 
nearer  and  nearer,  seeking  an  opening  into  the  inclosure,  till  at  last  they 
came  within  striking  distance,  and  he  saw  one  Wolf  rolled  over  dead  by  a 
blow  from  the  fore  foot  of  one  of  the  mares.  The  fore  foot  is  not 
commonly  used  for  defence  by  any  equine  species;  but  it  is  obvious 
that  the  more  powerful  hind-leg  blow  would  be  of  little  service  against  the 
spring  of  a  Wolf  from  behind,  without  the  directing  eye  to  guide  the 
stroke.  Of  what  a  long  experience  must  this  mutual  protection  have 
been  the  result!  We  can  scarcely  understand  it,  without  councils  of  war 
having  been  held,  the  dangers  discussed,  and  signals  for  concerted  action 
arranged ;  but  now  all  this  instinct  may  merely  be  the  inheritance  of 
the  experience  of  former  generations. — George  Maw  (Benthall,  Kenley, 
Surrey)  in  '  Nature.' 

Natterer's  Bat  and  the  Barhastelle  in  Sussex. —  It  may  interest 
some  of  your  readers  to  know  that  a  specimen  of  VespertiUo  nattereri  was 
taken  near  here  in  the  early  part  of  last  year,  and  was  brought  to  me. 
I  tried  my  best  to  keep  it  alive,  but  failed,  as  it  refused  all  food.    Last  year 


also  my  brother  sent  me  a  specimen  of  Barhastellus  communis,  which  he 
shot  at  Horsham.  It  was  flying  only  a  few  feet  from  the  ground  in  the 
sunshine  in  the  afternoon.  Three  years  ago  I  had  sixty-two  Noctules 
brought  me,  which  were  taken  from  the  hollow  of  an  old  elm  in  Preston 
Park.  Many  of  these  lived  for  weeks  feeding  on  flies  and  raw  beef. — 
C.  W.  Urazenor  (Lewes  Road,  Brighton). 

Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat  in  Herts  and  Kent. — The  Lesser  Horse-shoe 
Bat  is  probably  more  generally  distributed  over  the  southern  counties  of 
England  than  the  data  arranged  by  Mr.  Kelsall  might  lead  one  to  expect. 
Last  summer  (1886)  a  fresh  example  was  sent  up  from  Plerts  to  Spalding, 
of  Netting  Hill,  and  he  told  me  at  that  time  that  he  had  previously 
received  one  or  two  specimens  from  the  neighbourhood  of  London.  It  has 
also  occurred  in  Kent,  specimens  having  been  both  shot  and  caught  alive 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Sevenoaks. — H,  A.  Macpherson. 

Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat  in  Wales. — To  the  localities  mentioned  by 
Mr.  J.  E.  Kelsall  for  the  occurrence  of  Bhbwlophus  hipposkleros  (p.  89) 
I  am  pleased  to  be  able  to  add  North-West  Merionethshire,  where  it  occurs 
sparingly  in  many  places.  I  have  also  found  it  in  Denbighshire  in  a  cave 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  St.  Asaph.  In  Carnarvonshire  I  have  reason  to 
believe  it  occurs,  though  as  yet  I  have  not  obtained  a  specimen.  Probably 
this  species  will  be  found  to  be  generally  distributed  in  North  Wales. — 
G.  H.  Caton  Hatgh  (Aber-ia,  Penrhyndendraeth,  Merionethshire). 

Albino  Specimen  of  the  Short-tailed  Field  Vole.— I  have  seen  a  pure 
white  specimen  of  this  little  animal,  which  was  taken  here  in  February 
last,  and  another  was  caught  about  the  same  time  and  on  the  same  spot. 
They  both  had  pink  eyes. — Henry  Lamb  (Maidstone). 


Distribution  of  the  White-bellied  Brent  Goose. — In  'Tlie  Zoologist' 
for  January  (p.  29)  the  Rev.  H.  A.  Macpherson  asks  for  information  as  to 
the  distribution  of  the  White-bellied  Brent  during  its  stay  on  our  coasts. 
The  only  Lincolnshire-killed  Brent  I  have  handled  during  the  winter  were 
three,  shot  dining  the  last  week  in  January  on  the  edge  of  the  "fitties"  just 
south  of  Tetney  Haven,  all  three  belonging  to  the  white-bellied  or  Atlantic 
type.  The  skin  of  one  I  have  now  added  to  my  collection.  Some  years 
since  Col.  Russell  sent  me  a  fine  White-bellied  Brent  shot  by  himself  on 
the  Essex  coast,  accompanied  by  some  interesting  and  exhaustive  notes  as 
to  the  two  races  and  their  comparative  abundance  and  scarcity  in  various 
years. — John  Cordeaux  (Great  Cotes,  Ulceby). 

[If  Col.  Russell  has  no  objection  to  allow  the  notes  above-mentioned  to 
appear  in  '  The  Zoologist '  we  have  no  doubt  they  would  be  acceptable 
to  many. — Ed.] 


The  alleged  existence  of  Ptarmigan  in  Cumberland.— In  his 
excelleut  article  on  the  distribution  of  the  Ptarmigan  (pp.  81 — 89),  Mr. 
Robert  Service  goes  out  of  his  wa}'  to  try  to  prove  that  this  species  was 
once  a  native  of  the  English  Lake  District.  The  only  shred  of  evidence 
adduced  is  an  incidental  remark,  apparently  founded  on  oral  tradition,  that 
two  young  Ptarmigan  had  been  obtained  in  England,  together  with  the 
vague  inference  that  they  might  have  come  from  Skiddaw.  Mr.  Service 
appears  to  forget  that  the  enquiries  instituted  by  Capt.  K.  Dover,  on  behalf 
of  Mr.  A.  G.  More,  were  made  among  the  men  best  qualified  to  know  the 
fauna  of  the  lakes,  and  that  he  failed  to  find  any  evidence  or  tradition  of 
their  former  presence.  More  recently  the  subject  was  investigated  afresh 
by  the  writer  and  his  colleague,  when  preparing  '  The  Birds  of  Cumber- 
land,' witb  a  similar  result.  Certainly  no  one  was  better  qualified  to  know 
than  Jerry  Smith,  of  Bassenthwaite,  who  died  last  year.  A  native  of  the 
district,  a  keeper  by  calling,  a  naturalist  con  amove,  and  latterly  stuflBug  birds 
and  mounting  "pads"  for  all  the  country  side, — possessed,  too,  of  a  reserved 
disposition,  together  with  a  retentive  memory, — Jerry  Smith  possessed  the 
most  intimate  knowledge  of  the  fauna  of  the  Skiddaw  district,  and  to  such 
congenial  spirits  as  Mr.  Senhouse,  Mr.  Duckworth,  and  the  writer,  he  was 
wilhng  to  unburden  himself  freely.  The  question  about  Ptarmigan  was 
put  to  him  again  and  again,  but  he  always  maintained  that  the  alleged 
existence  of  the  species  was  purely  imaginary,  though  he  himself  was  well 
acquainted  with  the  bird,  and  recollected  the  introduction  of  some  from 
Scotland.  He  also  informed  the  writer  that  he  had,  as  a  boy,  heard  old  men 
say  that  a  few  Capercailzie  e.xisted  in  the  district. — H.  A.  Macpherson. 

Supposed  occurrence  formerly  of  Ptarmigan  in  Cumberland.— With 
reference  to  the  remarks  on  this  subject  by  Mr.  Service  (pp.  81 — 89), 
I  may  state  that  in  1841  there  was  in  the  Museum  at  Keswick  a  Ptarmigan 
said  to  have  been  killed  on  Skiddaw ;  but  I  remember  no  other  particulars. 
— H.  T.  Frere  (Burston  Piectory,  Dissj.  [Those  on  Skiddaw  were  intro- 
duced from  Scotland.     Vide  supra. — Ed.] 

The  Hawfinch  at  Harrogate. — On  February  2oth  J  saw  a  pair  of 
Hawfinches,  C'occothraustes  vulgaris,  in  the  Hydropathic  Gardens.  This 
is,  I  think,  a  very  unusual  place  for  this  bird,  but  a  few  have  been  seen  in 
several  places  in  the  town  this  winter.  During  the  last  summer  a  pair 
bred  in  the  grounds  at  Ripley  Castle.  I  communicated  this  to  Mr.  W. 
Eagle  Clarke,  who  wrote  me  in  reply  that  he  knew  of  a  pair  nesting  at 
Panuel,  near  Harrogate,  during  the  previous  year.  During  the  last  week  of 
February  Mr.  Basil  T.  Woodd,  of  Conyngham  Hall,  wrote  me  that  last 
winter  several  Hawfinches  used  to  come  and  feed  on  the  crumbs  thrown 
out  of  his  window  for  the  bird,  and  that  he  had  reason  to  believe  that  some 
of  them  nested  in  his  grounds. — F.  R.  Fitzgerald  (Harrogate). 

ZOOLOGIST.— APRIL,   1857.  N 


Plumage  of  the  Kestrel. — The  sex  of  the  Kestrel  mentioned  by  me 
(Zool.  1886,  p.  180)  was  not  tested  by  dissection,  which  I  now  regret, 
though  at  the  time  I  did  not  think  it  necessary.  I  may  add,  how'ever,  that 
it  was  its  small  size,  combined  with  its  female  plumage,  which  induced  me 
to  examine  it  closely ;  that  I  took  it  to  Mr.  John  Sayer,  the  well-known 
birdstuffer,  of  Norwich,  who  confirmed  my  opinion  ;  and  that  a  hawk,  male 
or  female,  kept  flying  about  and  caUing-  near  the  place  whence  the  nest 
was  taken  for  some  time  afterwards,  making  the  third  which  seemed  to 
belong  to  the  nest. — H.  T.  Feere  (Burston  Kectory,  Diss). 

Great  Grey  Shrike  in  Kent. — A  male  specimen  of  Lanius  excuhitor 
was  shot  near  Maidstone  on  January  19th,  and  was  preserved  by  Mr.  S. 
Brent,  of  this  town.  Two  others  were  seen  here  last  winter.  —  Henry 
Lamb  (Maidstone). 

[This  bird  is  a  pretty  regular  winter  visitor,  and  in  the  eastern  and 
south-eastern  counties  of  England  is  by  no  means  so  uncommon  as  many 
suppose. — Ed.] 

Adders  in  Winter. —  One  day  early  in  January  last  a  friend  of  mine 
killed  an  Adder  in  Parson's  Copse  at  Rowner.  I  made  him  promise  to  give 
it  me,  as  the  occurrence  of  reptile  life  in  the  winter  is  at  least  unusual; 
so  last  week  it  came  into  my  possession.  It  is  a  small  specimen,  normally 
colouied,  with  very  numerous  confluent  spots.  The  mossy  oak  stump 
whereon  we  found  it  was  not  particularly  sheltered,  and  I  feel  sure  that  the 
viper  was  not  dug  up  or  brought  there.  The  creature  was  very  sluggish, 
and  permitted  its  finder  to  cut  the  stick  leisurely,  with  which  a  very  slight 
blow  despatched  it.  The  parish  of  Rowner  abounds  with  Adders,  and  they 
have  their  favourite  basking.places.  For  several  weeks  I  used  to  look  for 
one  very  handsome  light  grey,  or  almost  white  specimen,  with  black 
markings,  and  it  was  almost  always  on  the  same  little  heap  of  dry  fern 
beneath  a  wild  apple  tree.  Once  while  sitting  sketching  I  heard  a  rustle 
beneath  the  camp-stool,  and  looked  down  to  see  a  fine  brown  Adder  very 
slowly  passing  between  my  feet;  it  went  at  the  same  pace  straight  ahead 
until  it  disappeared  beneath  the  ferns.  All  creatures  apparently  get 
accustomed  to  a  motionless  figure,  and  treat  it  with  indifference.  Among 
birds  I  found  Jays  and  Chaf&nches,  es[  ecially  young  Chaffinches,  the 
boldest ;  the  first  would  come  very  close  indeed,  attracted,  I  suppose,  by 
curiosity,  while  the  second  would  pick  up  the  crumbs  from  my  frugal 
lunch,  \Yhich  had  fallen  beneath  the  easel.  The  colour-box  serves  occasionally 
for  collecting  purposes.  A  Piinged  Snake,  unfortunately  slain  in  my  clumsy 
attempts  at  capture,  was  put  amongst  the  colonr-tubes,  and  attracted  in 
half  an  hour  an  extraordinary  number  of  flies.  A  specimen  of  Triton 
cristatus,  consigned  to  the  same  receptacle  on  account  of  its  size  and  beauty, 


perished  there,  to  my  great  regret.  It  was  not  there  long,  but  long  enough 
for  the  skin  to  dry  and  to  resist  all  attempts  at  resuscitation.— Martin 
Snape  (Spring  Garden  Cottage,  Forton,  Gosport). 


Plain  Surmullet  on  the  Devonshire  Coast.— At  the  latter  end  of  the 
year  1885  a  present  of  some  thirty  Red  Mullet  was  sent  me  by  a  friend  at 
Dartmouth.  Being  struck  by  their  evenness  and  smallness  of  size, — no 
fish  measuring  more  than  six  inches, — and  vividness  of  colouring,  I  sent 
specimens  to  Mr.  Thomas  Cornish,  of  Penzance,  who  kindly  identified 
them  for  me  as  being  the  Plain  Surmullet,  Mullios  harbatus.  On  referring 
to  Yarrell's  '  British  Fishes'  (1859),  I  find  this  particular  fish  described  as 
a  rare  visitor  to  our  shores.  Last  winter  I  again  received  specimens  from 
Torbay,  and  now,  a  few  days  ago,  I  had  others  sent  with  an  accompanying 
note  that  "  those  sent  are  a  sample  of  numbers  just  caught  by  a  Brixham 
trawler,  the  bulk  of  which  have  gone  to  supply  other  markets."  Can  you 
explain  why  this  once  uncommon  fish  on  our  shores  now  appears  in 
comparison  plentiful,  and  at  this  season  of  the  year  only?— Edmund 
Elliot  (Tresillian,  Kingsbridge,  South  Devon). 

[In  the  opinion  of  many  ichthyologists  Mullus  harbatus  is  merely  the 
male  of  Mullus  surnmlletus,  and  always  smaller  than  the  female.  See 
Dr.  Giinther's  'Introduction  to  the  Study  of  Fishes,'  p.  404.  The  number 
of  small-sized  individuals  caught  together,  as  above  stated,  suggests  that 
the  shoals  in  question  were  probably  composed  of  immature  fish. — Ed.] 


LiNNEAN  Society  of  London. 

March  3,  1887.— Wm.  Carruthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

The  following  gentlemen  were  elected  Fellows  of  the  Society  :— B.  S. 
Dyer,  Right  Hon.  Sir  E.  Fry,  S.  G.  Klein,  C.  Maries,  E.  S.  Marshall, 
R.  Morgan,  J.  B.  Stone,  and  A.  W.  Tait. 

No  zoological  papers  were  read,  but  two  on  botanical  subjects  dealt 
with  the  genetic  affinities  and  classification  of  the  AlgcB,  by  A.  W.  Bennett, 
and  a  fungoid  disease  of  Colocasia  esculenta,  by  G.  Massie  and  D.  Morris. 

March  17,  1887.— Wm.  Caruuthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

Mr.  Francis  J.  Briant,  Mr.  J.  Errington  de  la  Croit,  and  Mr.  W.  West 
were  elected  Fellows  of  the  Society. 

Mr.  C.  B.  Clarke,  F.R.S.,  was  elected  into  the  Council  in  the  place  of 
Dr.  H.  Trimen,  resigned. 


The  following  recommendations  of  the  Council  were  submitted  to  the 
Fellows: — "That  the  Carpological  Collection  be  disposed  of,  as  being  of 
no  practical  value  to  the  Society,  or  of  any  intrinsic  value,  a  few  specimens 
belonging  to  the  Wallichian  Herbarium  excepted.  That  representatives  of 
the  National  Collections,  British  Museum,  and  Kew  be  invited  to  select 
such  specimens  as  may  be  desirod  by  those  institutions,  and  the  residue 
be  offered  to  the  Oxford  Botanic  Gardens,  where  a  Museum  is  in  course 
of  formation.  That  the  small  earthenware  vase  in  the  Carpological 
Colle:tion  be  offered  to  the  Ethnological  Department,  British  Museum." 
On  the  ballot  being  taken,  however,  these  recommendations  were  not 
approved  by  the  Fellows  present. 

Mr.  Alfred  0.  Walker  read  a  paper  on  the  Crustacea  of  Singapore, 
the  collection  in  question  having  been  made  by  Surgeon-Major  Archer 
during  1879 — 83.  The  species  were  chiefly  dredged  in  15 — '2U  fatlioms, 
or  got  on  shallow  sand-banks.  A  full  list  is  given  of  all  the  forms 
identified,  and  several  new  species  are  described.  Among  the  new  forms  are 
Doclea  tetraptera,  Xanthe  scabeirimus,  Maii  Miersli,  and  Caphyra  Archerl. 

A  paper  by  Dr.  George  King  on  the  Indian  Figs  was  read,  in  which  it 
was  shown  that  insects  play  a  considerable  part  in  the  fertilisation  of  certain 
forms.  Dealing  with  the  structural  peculiarities  of  the  flowers  in  the  genus 
Ficus,  he  specifies  (1)  male,  (9)  pseudohermaphrodite,  (3)  neuter,  and  (4) 
female  fertile  flowers.  Besides  these  occur  a  set  of  flowers  originally  named 
by  him  "  Insect-attacked  females,"  but  for  which  he  has  since  adopted 
Count  Solms-Larnbach's  term  "  Gall-flowers  "  (Bot.  Zeit.  1885),  this  botanist 
having  anticipated  him  in  publication,  though  his  own  researches  were  of 
earlier  date.  As  to  the  question  of  these  gall-flowers,  Dr.  King  states  that 
the  pupa  of  an  insect  oan  usually  be  seen  througli  the  coats  of  the  ovary. 
The  pupa  when  perfected  escapes  into  the  cavity  of  the  receptacle  by  cutting 
its  way  through,  and  fully  winged  developed  insects  are  often  to  be  found 
in  considerable  numbers  in  the  cavity  of  the  fig.  The  pupa  of  the  insect 
must  become  encysted  in  the  ovary  of  the  gall-flower  at  a  very  early  period, 
for  about  the  time  at  which  the  imago  is  escaping  from  the  ovary  the  pollen 
of  the  antlers  of  the  male  flower  is  only  beginning  to  shed.  Thus  Dr.  King 
holds  that  through  the  interposition  of  insects  the  malformed  female  flowers 
doubtless  become  functionally  important  in  the  life-history  of  the  fig-trees. 

— J.  MUKIK. 

Zoological  Society  of  London. 

February  15,  1887.- Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President, 
in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to 
the  Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  January,  and  called  special 


attention  to  two  Blakiston's  Owls,  Bubo  blakistoni,  from  Japan,  presented 
by  Mr.  J.  H.  Leech;  three  Hooker's  Sea-Lions,  Otaria  hookeri,  presented 
by  the  Hon.  W.  J.  M.  Larnach.i  C.M.G.,  Minister  of  Marine  of  New 
Zealand ;  and  a  Blue  Penguin,  Eudyptula  minor,  from  Cook's  Straits, 
New  Zealand,  presented  by  Mr.  Bernard  Lawson. 

Prof.  F.  Jeffrey  Bell  read  a  report  on  a  collection  of  Echinoderniata 
made  in  the  Andaman  Islands  by  Col.  Cadell,  V.C.  The  collection  was 
stated  to  contain  one  hundred  examples  referable  to  fifty  species. 

Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger  read  a  paper  on  a  collection  of  Reptiles  and 
Batrachians  made  by  ]\Ir.  H.  Pryer  in  the  Loo  Choo  Islands.  The  author 
observed  that  exceptional  interest  attached  to  this  collection,  seeing  that  it 
was  the  first  herpetological  collection  that  had  reached  Europe  from  that 
group  of  islands.  Two  new  species  were  described,  viz.  Tachydromus 
smaragdinus  and  Tropidonotus  pryerl. 

Mr.  Oldfield  Thomas  read  a  paper  on  the  small  Mammals  collected 
in  British  Guiana  by  Mr.  W.  L.  Sclater.  The  collection  contained 
thirteen  specimens  belonging  to  eight  species,  of  which  one  was  new ; 
this  the  author  proposed  to  describe  as  Hesperomys  (Rhipidomys) 
sclater  i. 

Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger  pointed  out  the  characters  of  a  new  Geckoid 
Lizard  from  British  Guiana.  The  specimen  in  question  was  contained  in 
a  small  collection  of  Reptiles  made  by  Mr.  W.  L.  Sclater  on  the  Pomeroon 
river.     Tiie  author  described  it  as  Oonatodes  annularis. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  Charles  0.  Waterhouse,  con- 
taining an  account  of  a  new  parasitic  Dipterous  Insect  of  the  family  Hippo- 
boscidcB.  The  author  stated  that  this  insect  had  been  found  on  a  species  of 
Swift,  Cypselus  melanoleucus,  by  Dr.  R.  W.  Shufeldt,  at  Fort  Wingate, 
New  Mexico.  It  was  closely  allied  to  Anapera  pallida,  a  European 
Dipterous  parasite  found  on  C.  apus,  and  was  proposed  to  be  named 
Anapera  fimbriata. 

Mr.  John  H.  Ponsonby  communicated,  on  behalf  of  Mr.  Andrew 
Garrett,  the  first  part  of  a  paper  on  the  Terrestrial  MoUusks  of  the  Viti 
or  Fiji  Islands. 

Mr.  F.  E.  Beddard  read  a  paper  on  the  structure  of  a  new  genus  of 
Lumbricidfe,  Thamnodrilus,  discovered  by  Mr.  W.  L.  Sclater  in  British 
Guiana,  which  lie  proposed  to  characterise  as  Thamnodrilus  guUelmi. 

March  1,  1887.— Piof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President,  in 
the  chair. 

Prof.  Jeffrey  Bell  read  extracts  from  a  communication  sent  to  him  by 
Mr.  Edgar  Thurston,  Superintendent  of  the  Government  Central  Museum, 
Madras,  containing  observations  on  two  species  of  Batrachians  of  the 
genus  Oacopus. 


Mr.  0.  Salvin  (on  behalf  of  Mr.  F.  D.  Godman)  exhibited  a  pair  of  a 
large  and  rare  Butterfly,  Ornithoptera  victoria;,  the  male  of  which  had  been 
hitherto  undescribed.  These  specimens  were  obtained  at  the  end  of  May, 
1886,  by  Mr.  C.  M,  Woodford,  at  North- West  Bay,  Maleita  Island,  one  of 
the  Solomon  group. 

Mr.  E.  B.  Poulton  read  a  paper  containing  an  account  of  his  e.xperiments 
on  the  protective  value  of  colour  and  markings  in  insects  (especially  in 
Lepidopterous  larvae)  and  their  relation  to  Vertebrata.  It  was  found  that 
conspicuous  insects  were  nearly  always  refused  by  birds  and  lizards,  but  that 
they  were  eaten  in  e.\treme  hunger:  hence  the  unpleasant  taste  failed  as  a 
protection  under  these  circumstances.  Further,  conspicuous  and  unpalatable 
insects,  although  widely  separated,  tended  to  converge  in  colour  and  pattern, 
being  thus  more  easily  seen  and  remembered  by  their  enemies.  In  the 
insects  protected  by  resembling  their  surroundings  it  was  observed  that 
mere  size  might  prevent  the  attacks  of  small  enemies.  Some  such  insects 
were  unpalatable,  but  could  not  be  distinguished  from  the  others.  In 
tracing  the  inedibility  through  the  stages,  it  was  found  that  no  inedible 
imago  was  edible  in  the  larval  stage ;  in  this  stage  therefore  the  unpleasant 
taste  arose. 

Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger  read  a  paper  descriptive  of  the  fishes  collected  by 
the  late  Mr.  Clarence  Buckley  in  Ecuador.  The  set  of  all  the  species  in 
the  collection  acquired  by  the  British  Museum  in  1880  contained  a  large 
number  of  highly  interesting  and  well-preserved  specimens.  Amongst 
them  were  representatives  of  ten  species  described  as  new  to  Science. 

Mr.  Richard  S.  Wray,  B.Sc,  read  a  note  on  a  vestigial  structure  in  the 
adult  Ostrich  representing  the  distal  phalanges  of  the  third  digit. 

Mr.  John  H.  Ponsonby  communicated  (on  behalf  of  Mr.  Andrew 
Garrett)  the  second  and  concluding  part  of  a  paper  on  the  Terrestrial 
Mollusks  of  the  Viti  or  Fiji  Islands. 

Mr.  Edgar  A.  Smith  gave  an  account  of  a  small  collection  of  shells  from 
the  Loo-Choo  Islands  made  by  Mr.  H.  Pryer. 

March  15,  1887.— Dr.  St.  George  Mivart,  F.R.S.,  Vice-President, 
in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to  the 
Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  February,  and  called  attention  to  a 
Burmeister's  Cariama,  Chunga  burmeisieri,  received  in  exchange  Feb.  Slth; 
a  White-fronted  Heron,  Ardea  nova-zealandicE,  from  Australia,  presented 
by  F.  B.  Dyas,  Esq. ;  a  young  specimen  of  a  Black-winged  Kite,  Elanus 
ccEvuleus,  taken  from  the  nest  by  Mr.  R.  Southey,  of  Southfield,  Plumstead, 
Cape  of  Good  Hope,  and  received  Feb.  28th ;  and  two  Gloved  Wallabies, 
Haliiiaturus  irma,  received  in  exchange  from  the  Zoological  and  Acclimati- 
zation Society  of  Melbourne,  Feb.  28th. 


Mr.  Howard  Saunders  exhibited  a  young  male  Harlequin  Duck,  Cosmo- 
netta  histrlonica,  shot  off  the  coast  of  Northumberland  on  the  2nd  December 
last,  and  remarked  that  it  was  the  second  authentic  British-killed  specimen 
in  existence.     [For  further  details,  see  p.  70. — Ed.] 

Mr.  Oldfield  Thomas  read  a  paper  on  the  Bats  collected  by  Mr.  C.  M. 
Woodford  in  the  Solomon  Islands.  The  localities  at  which  Mr.  Woodford 
collected  were  chiefly  Alu,  in  the  large  Shortland  Island,  and  the  adjoining 
small  island  of  Fauro.  The  collection  contained  twenty-three  specimens 
belonging  to  ten  species,  of  which  two  were  new  to  Science.  One  of  these, 
which  represented  also  a  new  genus  of  Pteropine  Bats,  was  proposed  to  be 
called  Nesonycteris  woodfordi. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  W.  R.  Ogilvie  Grant,  containing 
an  account  of  ihe  birds  collected  by  Mr.  C.  M.  Woodford  at  Fauro  and 
Shortland  Islands,  in  the  Solomon  Archipelago,  and  in  other  localities  of  the 
group.  "Mr.  Grant  proposed  to  name  a  new  Crow  of  the  genus  Macrocorax, 
obtained  in  the  island  of  Guadalcanar,  after  its  discoverer,  M.  ivoodfordi. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger,  containing  a 
second  contribution  to  the  Herpetology  of  the  Solomon  Islands.  It  gave 
an  account  of  a  collection  made  chiefly  at  two  localities,  Fauro  Island  and 
Alu,  Shortland  Island,  by  Mr.  Woodford.  Seven  species  were  described  as 
new  to  Science,  amongst  which  was  a  new  genus  and  species  of  Batrachians 
of  the  family  Ranidse,  proposed  to  be  called  Batrachylodes  vertehralis. 

Mr.  Oldfield  Thomas  read  a  paper  describing  the  milk-dentition  of  the 
Koala,  Fhascolarctos  cinereus,  which  was  shown  to  be  in  the  same  state  of 
reduction  as  had  been  described  by  Prof.  Flower  in  the  case  of  the  Th\  lacine. 

A  second  communication  from  Mr.  Boulenger  contained  a  description  of 
a  new  Gecko  of  the  genus  Chondrodactylus  from  the  Kalahari  Desert,  South 
Africa,  based  on  a  specimen  which  had  been  presented  to  the  Natural 
History  Museum  by  Mr.  J.  Jenner  Weir.  The  author  proposed  to  call  it 
C.  weiri.—V.  L.  Sclater,  Secretary. 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

March  2,  1887. — Dr.  D.  Sharp,  President,  in  the  chair. 

The  Rev.  T.  W.  Daltry,  M.A.,  F.L.S.,  of  Madeley  Vicar.tge,  Stafford- 
shire; Dr.  Neville  Manders,  of  the  Army  Medical  Staff,  Mooltan,  India; 
Mr.  Alfred  Sich,  of  Chiswick;  and  Mr.  J.  T.  M'Dougall,  of  Blackheath, 
were  elected  Fellows. 

Mr.  Slater  exhibited,  on  behalf  of  Mr.  Mutch,  two  specimens  of  Arctia 
caja,  one  of  which  was  bred  from  a  larva  fed  on  lime-leaves,  and  the  other 
from  a  larva  fed  on  low  plants,  the  ordinary  pabulum  of  the  species.  The 
object  of  the  exhibition  was  to  show  the  effect  of  food  in  causing  variation 
in  Lepidoptera. 


Mr.  H.  J.  Elwes  exhibited  a  large  number  of  Lepidoptera-Heterocera, 
caught  by  him  in  the  verandah  of  the  CUib  at  Darjeeling,  in  Sikkim,  at  an 
elevation  of  7000  feet,  on  the  night  of  the  4th  of  August,  1886,  between 
9  p.m.  and  1  a.m.  The  specimens  exhibited  represented  upwards  of  1'20 
species, — which  was  believed  to  I)e  a  larger  number  than  had  ever  before 
been  caught  iu  one  night, — including  Bombyces  of  the  genera  Zeuzera, 
Stauropus,  Dasychira,  Lopliopteryx,  &c. ;  Noctuae  of  the  genera  Diphthera, 
Orapldphora,  Gonitis,  Plusia,  &c. ;  and  Geonietrse  of  the  genera  Boarmia, 
Odoiitoptera,  Urapteryx,  Cidaria,  Acidalia,  Pseudocoremia,  and  Eupithacia. 
Mr.  Elwes  stated  that  Mr.  A.  R.  Wallace's  observations  on  the  conditions 
most  favourable  for  collecting  moths  in  the  tropics  were  fully  confirmed  by 
his  own  experience  during  four  months' collecting  in  Sikkim  and  the  Khasias. 
The  conditions  referred  to  by  Mr.  AVallace  were  a  dark  wet  night  in  the 
rainy  season ;  a  situation  commanding  a  large  e.Ktent  of  virgin  forest  and 
uncultivated  ground ;  and  a  whitewashed  verandah,  not  too  high,  with 
powerful  lamps  in  it.  He  said  that  on  many  nights  during  June  and  July 
he  had  taken  from  si.\ty  to  eighty  species,  and  during  his  stay  he  had 
collected  between  600  and  700  species. 

Mr.  Elwes  also  made  some  remarks  on  the  Khasia  Hills,  the  southern 
slopes  of  which  he  believed  to  be  the  true  habitat  of  the  greater  part  of  those 
insects  described  many  years  ago  by  Prof.  Westwood  and  others  as  coming 
from  Sylhet,  which  was  situated  in  a  flat  cultivated  plain,  under  water 
during  the  rainy  season,  and  not  many  miles  distant  from  these  hills.  In 
consequence  of  the  unhealthy  and  extremely  hot  and  wet  climate  of  these 
hills  no  Europeans  had  done  much  collecting  there,  but  the  specimens 
were  chiefly  caught  by  the  natives  and  brought  into  the  town  of  Sylhet 
for  sale. 

A  discussion  ensued  on  the  remarks  made  by  Mr.  Elwes,  in  which 
Mr.  M'Lachlan,  Dr.  Sharp,  Mr.  Champion,  Mr.  Kirby,  and  others  took  jDart. 

The  Rev.  W.  W.  Fowler  exhibited  a  specimen  of  Cathoriniocerus  socius, 
taken  a  few  years  ago  at  Sandown,  Isle  of  Wight. 

Mr.  S.  Stevens  exhibited  specimens  of  Cathormiocerus  maritinius  and 
Platytarsus  hirtus. 

Mr.  F.  Grut  said  he  was  requested  by  Mens.  Peringuey,  of  Cape  Town, 
to  announce  that  the  latter  was  engaged  on  a  monograph  of  the  genus 
Hipporrhinus,  and  that  he  would  be  glad  to  receive  specimens  and  other 
assistance  from  British  entomologists. 

Mr.  Gervase  F.  Mathew,  R.N.,  communicated  a  paper  entitled  "  Descrip- 
tions of  new  species  of  Rhopalocera  from  the  Solomon  Islands." 

Mr.  George  T.  Baker  communicated  the  following  papers  ; — "  Descrip- 
tion of  a  new  species  of  the  Lepidopterous  genus  Caraina,  together  with  a 
few  notes  on  the  genus";  and  "  Description  of  a  new  genus  of  Rhopalocera 
allied  to  Thecla." — H.  Goss,  Hon.  Secretary. 


Zool.May  1887. 

Plate   3. 

L.Hutchmson  Ktln 

TKe  Noc"tu.le. 
Vksperuugo  noctxidjcu. 

"West,  NewmaTi  &~  Co-ainp 



Vol.  XL]  MAY,    1887.  [No.  J25. 

By  the  Editor. 

Plate  III. 

It  is  satisfactory  to  note  the  increased  attention  which  is 
being  paid  to  the  British  Bats  by  several  of  our  esteemed 
correspondents.  Respecting  many  of  the  species,  indeed  in 
regard  to  the  majority  of  them,  it  must  be  confessed  there  is 
still  a  great  deal  to  be  learnt  which  time  only  will  disclose ;  but 
should  success  attend  our  efforts  to  procure  and  figure  from  the 
life  every  one  of  our  British  species  in  turn,  so  as  to  render  their 
appearance  familiar  to  our  readers,  we  may  hope  ere  long  with 
their  assistance  to  place  on  record  a  far  more  satisfactory  account 
of  them  than  at  present  exists. 

According  to  the  best  authorities,  there  is  reason  to  believe 
that  at  least  fifteen  species  of  bats  are  to  be  found  in  the  British 
Islands,  although  in  regard  to  one  of  them  at  least,  Vespertilio 
murinus,  Schreber,  the  evidence  of  its  occurrence  in  this  country 
is  of  an  extremely  slender  character.* 

*  In  the  second  edition  of  Bell's  '  British  Quadi-npeds,'  1874,  it  is  stated 
(p.  49)  that  V.  murinus  "  has  hitherto  only  been  taken  in  the  gardens  of  the 
British  Museum,"  and  the  author  adds  that  he  has  •'  failed  in  meeting  with 
any  other  record  of  its  appearance  than  that  given,  which  is  not  altogether 
satisfactory."  Tn  our  annotated  copy  of  this  work  we  have  a  marginal  note 
to  the  effect  that  the  following  additional  localities  have  been  reported  for 
Vesjjertilio  murinus,  namely,  Sherborne,  Dorset  (C.  W.  Dale),  Epping 
(Doubleday),  and  Freshwater,  Isle  of  Wight  (Hadfield) ;  with  the  further 
ZOOLOGIST. MAY,   1887.  O 


Another  species,  called  by  Bell  the  Particoloured  Bat, 
Vespenigo  discolor,  Natterer,  has  been  included  in  the  British 
list  on  the  strength  of  a  single  example  in  the  British  Museum, 
which  was  taken  many  years  ago  at  Plymouth  by  Dr.  Leach.* 
To  this,  however,  we  maj^  add  that  Mr.  John  Hancock  has  a 
second  example  of  this  species  which  was  captured  in  Yarmouth 
Koads  in  1834.  t 

Bechstein's  Bat,  Vespertilio  bechsteini,  Leisler,  is  of  quite  as 
rare  occurrence  in  this  country,  being,  as  Bell  states  (p.  52), 
'  only  known  as  British  from  the  occurrence  of  specimens  taken 
by  Mr.  Millard  in  the  New  Forest,  and  now  in  the  British 
Museum."  We  have  the  excellent  authority  of  our  old  friend 
Mr.  Bond  for  stating  that  two  specimens  of  Bechstein's  Bat  have 
been  taken  at  Preston,  near  Brighton.  The  impression  that  it 
had  also  been  met  with  at  Godstow  in  Berkshire  (Zool.  1884, 
p.  483)  has  been  corrected  by  Mr.  J.  E.  Kelsall  (Zool.  1885,  p.  146), 
who  identified  the  specimen  in  question  as  V.  nattereri. 

Of  the  fifteen  British  species  above  referred  to,  fourteen  only 
are  noticed  by  Bell.  The  fifteenth  is  Vespertilio  dasycneme,  Boie, 
which  is  reported  to  have  been  captured  on  the  banks  of 
the  Stour.  X  It  is  thus  described  by  Dr.  G.  E.  Dobson, 
whose  valuable  Catalogues  of  Asiatic  Chiroptera,  and  of  the 
Collection  of  Bats  in  the  British  Museum  form  the  latest  and 
best  text-books  on  this  subject: — 

"  Vespertilio  dasycneme,  Boie,  Isis,  1825,  p.  1200.  The  ears 
are  comparatively  shorter  than  in  V.  daubentonii ;  laid  forwards 
they  do  not  reach  the  end  of  the  nose;  tlie  inner  margin  of  the 
ear  is  straight  in  its  lower  ascending  portion  for  about  one-third 
its  length,  then  regularly  convex  to  the  tip,  which  is  obtusely 
rounded  off;  the  outer  margin  is  straight  beneath  the  tip  for 
about  one-third  of  its  length,   becaming  gradually   convex  and 


remark  that  "  Mr.  Blake  Kuox  also  has  received  Irish  specimens."  We 
confess,  however,  to  have  cousideraLle  misgivings  whether  the  species  in 
any  of  these  cases  has  been  correctly  determined,  and  we  should  be  very 
glad  if  any  reader  of  these  lines  could  enable  us  to  clear  up  the  uncertainty 
with  which  the  subject  is  attended. 

=■■  Cf.  Hep.  Plymouth  Inst.  p.  43,  and  Bellamy,  Nat.  Hist.  S.Devon,  p.  193. 

t  Cf.  Trans.  Norfolk  Nat.  Soc.  1873  -  74,  p.  80. 

I  Cf.  Buckton,  Proc.  Linn.  Soc.  1853,  p.  260,  where  the  species  is 
treated  as  a  variety  of  V.  daubentonii.  Tomes  (Zool.  1854,  p.  4361) 
considered  it  to  be  dasycneme. 


terniinatiiig  abruptly  opposite  the  base  of  the  inner  margin. 
The  tragus  terminates  in  an  obtuse  rounded  point;  the  inner 
margin  is  slightly  concave,  the  outer  convex. 

"  Thumb  armed  with  a  very  large  claw.  Wings  from  the 
distal  extremity  of  the  tibia ;  the  point  of  origin  of  the  wing- 
membrane  is  very  sharply  defined.  The  calcaneum  extends 
rather  more  than  half  way  between  the  ankle  and  the  tail. 

"  Fur  above  dark  at  the  base,  the  hairs  with  light  brown 
extremities ;  beneath  black  at  the  base,  the  extremities  white. 

"  Both  the  first  and  second  upper  premolars  are  drawn 
inwards,  owing  to  the  proximity  of  the  third  large  premolar  to 
the  canine ;  the  second  premolar  is  extremely  small,  and  more 
internal  than  the  first.  The  lower  incisors  are  not  crowded  ;  the 
second  lower  premolar  is  about  half  the  size  of  the  first  premolar ; 
the  third  premolar  is  less  than  the  canine  in  vertical  extent. 

"  Length  :  head  and  body,  2'4  in. ;  tail,  2  in. ;  head,  075  in. ; 
ear,  0*6  in.;  tragus,  0'3  XO'UOin.;  forearm,  TS  in. ;  thumb,  0"35; 
second  finger,  3'lin.;  fourth  finger,  2"4  in. ;  tibia,  0*8  in. ;  cal- 
caneum, 0'65  in.;  foot  and  claws,  0"4  in." 

Adopting  Dr.  Dobson's  nomenclature,  but  taking  the  species 
in  the  order  named  by  Bell,  for  greater  convenience  of  reference, 
it  may  be  observed  that  the  fifteen  species  of  bats  now  regarded 
as  British  belong  to  two  very  distinct  families,  VespertilionidcB  and 
RhinolophicUe,  and  are  referable  to  five  genera,  namely,  Vesperugo 
(five  species),  Vespe^-tilio  (six  species),  Plecotus  (one  species), 
Synotus  (one  species),  and  Rhinolophus  (two  species).  Of  these 
the  first  four  genera  belong  to  the  family 


The  members  of  this  family  are  easily  distinguishable  by 
their  simple  nostrils  terminating  the  conical  moderately  elongated 
muzzle,  by  the  long  tail  wholly  contained  within  the  interfemoral 
membrane,  and  by  the  upper  incisors  which  are  separated  by  a 
wide  space  and  placed  near  the  canines.  Their  eyes  are  minute ; 
and  the  inner  margins  of  the  ears  arise  from  the  sides  of  the 
head,  not  from  the  forehead. 

Genus  I.  Vesperugo,  Keyserling  &  Blasius,  Wiegni.  Archiv. 
1839,  p.  312. 

Muzzle  generally  very  broad  and  obtuse,  the  glandular  pro- 


minences  between  the  eyes  and  the  nostrils  well  developed, 
increasing  the  width  of  the  face  ;  crown  of  the  head  flat,  or  very 
slightly  raised  above  the  face-line  ;  nostrils  opening  sublaterally 
by  simple  crescentic  apertures  on  the  front  surface  of  naked 
extremity  of  the  muzzle ;  ears  separate,  generally  much  shorter 
than  the  head,  broad  and  triangular,  the  outer  margin  extending 
forwards  beyond  the  base  of  the  tragus,  the  internal  basal  lobe 
rounded ;  tragus  generally  short  and  obtuse,  the  outer  margin 
straight  or  concave.  Tail  less  than  the  length  of  the  head  and 
body  ;  the  calcaneum  generally  supports  on  its  posterior  margin 
a  small  rounded  cutaneous  lobe  (the  post-calcaneal  lobe),  which 
in  this  genus  reaches  its  greatest  development ;  feet  short  and 
broad ;  membranes  thin. 

^       .  .  T        2—2         1—1  2—2        1—1  3—3 

Dentition. — Inc.  —77—  ;  c.  fZIi'  P-™'  oll^  °^  2"Il2  '  ^'  3^^' 

Outer  upper  incisors  unicuspidate  and  shorter  than  the  inner 
incisors,  often  minute,  rarely  absent ;  first  upper  premolar  minute 
or  absent ;  first  lower  premolar  in  the  tooth  row,  not  crowded, 
its  summit  slightly  outwards. 

Species,  noctula,  Schreber  ;  leisleri,  Kuhl ;  discolor,  Natterer; 
piinstrellus,  Schreber ;  and  serotinus,  Schreber.  The  descriptions 
of  all  these  will  be  found  in  Bell's  work. 

Genus  3.  Vespertilio,  Keyserling  &  Blasius;  Wiegm. 
Archiv.  1839,  p.  306. 

Muzzle  long ;  glandular  prominence  between  the  nostrils  and 
eyes  small,  scarcely  increasing  the  width  of  the  face ;  nostrils 
opening  sublaterally  by  simple  crescentic  apertures  ;  crown  of  the 
head  vaulted,  slightly  elevated  above  the  face-line  ;  ears  separate, 
oval,  longer  than  broad,  generally  equalling  at  least — often 
exceeding — the  length  of  the  head ;  the  internal  base  lobe 
angular,  the  external  margin  terminating  opposite  the  base  of  the 
tragus  or  very  slightly  in  front  of  it ;  tragus  long,  generally  acute  ; 
the  inner  margin  slightly  convex  or  straight ;  the  outer  margin 
convex  below,  straight  or  slightly  concave  above.  Tail  less  than 
(or  very  rarely  equal  to)  the  length  of  the  head  and  body ;  post- 
calcaneal  lobe  absent  or  very  small.     Face  hairy. 

Dentition. — Incisors  —p—'i   the  upper  incisors  nearly  equal ; 

the  summit  of  the  outer  incisor  on  each  side  directed  vertically 


downwards  or  curved  slightly  outwards,  that  of  the  inner 
incisor  directed  forwards  and  inwards;  the  inner  incisor 
on  each  side  generally  with  a  distinct  second  cusp  placed  pos- 

teriorly  and  externally  ;    premolars  ^^  ;    first  and  second  upper 

premolars  very  small,    the   second  premolar  often  minute   and 

pressed  inwards  ;    molars  ^^  ;  the  last  upper  molar  rather  less 

than  half  the  antepenultimate  molar. 

Species: — murinus,  Schreber  ;  bechsteini,  Leisler  ;  nattereri, 
Kuhl;  dauhentojiii,  Leisler  ;  mystac inus,  Leislev ;  dasycne me,  Boie. 
The  descriptions  of  these  (with  the  exception  of  dasycneme,  given 
on  p.  1G2)  will  be  found  in  Bell's  work. 

Genus  3.  Plecotus,  Geoffroy,  Descript.  de  I'Egypte,  ii.  p.  113 

Crown  of  the  head  elevated  above  the  short  and  flattened 
muzzle.  Nostrils  opening  on  the  upper  surface  at  the  extremity 
of  the  muzzle,  in  front  of  semilunar  naked  depressions.  Ears 
united  above  the  forehead,  very  large,  the  outer  margin  ending 
opposite  the  base  of  the  tragus,  the  inner  margin  with  an  abrupt 
rounded  projection  directed  inwards  above  the  base;  tragus  very 
large,  tapering  upwards,  with  a  lobe  at  the  base  of  the  outer 
margin.  Feet  slender ;  toes  more  than  half  the  length  of  the 
whole  foot.  Tail  equal  in  length  to  the  head  and  body,  contained 
(except  part  of  the  last  caudal  vertebra)  within  the  interfemoral 
membrane.  Post-calcaneal  lobe  distinct.  Skull  considerably 
vaulted  ;  bones  forming  the  brain  -case  very  thin ;  occipital  and 
sagital  crests  scarcely  developed. 

,^      .  .  -,        2-2  1—1  2—2  3-3 

Dentition. — Inc.  — p—  ;  c.  yHi  >  P'"^*  q^Hq  '  *^'  3^^* 

Species  : — auritus,  Linn.     Described  by  Bell. 

Genus  4.  Synotus,  Keyserling  &  Blasius,  Wiegm.  Archiv. 
1839,  p.  305. 

Crown  of  the  head  distinctly  elevated  above  the  short  and 
obtuse  muzzle.  Nostrils  opening  on  the  upper  surface  at  the 
extremity  of  the  muzzle,  in  front  of  a  naked  space,  bounded 
laterally  by  the  raised  edges  of  the  very  prominent  sides  of  the 
face ;  anteriorly  the  upper  lip  is  divided  on  each  side  by  a  deep 


groove  passing  down  from  the  nostril;  and  in  the  intervening 
space  between  and  below  the  nostrils  is  prominent  and  rounded. 
Ears  confined  at  the  bases  of  their  inner  margins,  which  meet  on 
the  forehead  slightly  in  front  of  the  eyes ;  the  outer  margin  is 
also  carried  forward  in  front  of  the  eyes,  terminating  on  the  face 
above  the  upper  lip,  so  that  the  eye  is  contained  within  the 
external  ear;  tragus  triangular  above  and  attenuated  towards  the 
tip.  Feet  slender  with  long  toes.  Tail  nearly  as  long  or  longer 
than  the  body.  Skull  considerably  vaulted  behind  the  short 

^       .  .  -r        2-2         1—1  2—2  3—3 

Dentition. — Inc.  — ^—  ;  c.  t^^  ;  P-m-  ^zi^)  '  ™"  S^S' 

Species: — barbastellus,  Schreber.  Described  b.y  Bell,  who, 
however,  has  created  some  confusion  by  describing  it  (p.  81)  as 
Barbastellus  daubentonii,  this  specific  name  belonging  to  a  ver}' 
different  species,  Vespertilio  daubentonii  (oj).  cit.,  p.  60). 

The  bats  belonging  to  this  family  are  readily  distinguishable 
by  the  curious  form  of  their  foliaceous  nasal  appendages,  and  by 
their  rudimentary  premaxillary  bones  supporting  two  minute, 
usually  bilobed  incisors  ;  their  molars  are  acutely  tubercular,  and 
enable  them  to  crush  with  ease  the  hard  cases  of  coleopterous 
insects  which  (from  remains  found  in  their  stomachs)  appear  to 
constitute  a  large  proportion  of  their  food.  Their  eyes  are 
minute,  and  often  with  difficulty  discovered  in  spirit  specimens  ; 
the  eye -ball  is  extremely  small,  and  the  optic  nerve  reduced  to 
the  thickness  of  a  very  fine  thread,  contrasting  remarkably  with 
the  development  of  the  auditory  and  olfactory  nerves  in  the  same 

Genus  5.  Rhinolophus,  Geoflfroy,  Desm.  Nouv.  Diet.  d'Hist. 
Nat.  xix.  p.  383  (1803). 

Nose-leaf  very  complicated,  consisting  of  three  distinct  poi'- 
tions — anterior,  central,  and  posterior  ;  tlie  anterior  horizontal 
portion  is  horse-shoe-shaped,  usually  angularly  emarginate  in 
front,  containing  within  its  circumference  the  nasal  orifices  and 
the  central  erect  nasal  process ;  the  posterior  nose-leaf  is 
triangular,  erect,  with  cells  on  its  anterior  surface ;  the  central 
process  rises  between  and  beliind  the  nasal  orifices,  is  flattened 



anteriorly,  and  posteriorly  sends  backwards  a  vertical  laterally 
compressed  process,  which  is  either  connected  with  the  front 
surface  of  the  nose-leaf  or  free.  Base  of  the  outer  side  of  the 
ear  expanded,  forming  a  large  antitragus.  Wings  very  large; 
metacarpal  bone  of  fourth  finger  exceeding  that  of  second  in 
length.  Basioccipital  very  narrow  between  auditory  bullae,  in 
most  species  linear;  cochleae  prominent,  deeply  grooved  exter- 
nally ;  foramen  rotundum  united  with  sphenoidal  fissure. 

2  1—1  2—2  3—3 

c.  q — T  ;  p.m-  3^^ ;  m- 

Dentition. — Inc. 

4    '   -  i_i  '  i' 3—3  '    "    3-3" 

Second  lower  premolar  generally  minute  and  placed  outside 
the  teeth-row ;  first  upper  premolar  minute,  pointed,  standing  in 
the  teeth-row,  or  lying  in  the  outer  angle  between  the  closely 
approximated  canine  and  second  large  premolar. 

S-pecies:—fernt77i-equinu7n  and  hipposideros.     Both  described 
by  Bell. 

Arranged  in  tabular  form  the  British  species  of  Chiroptera 

stand  thus : — 

Fam.  Vespertilionid^. 

f   Gen.  Vesperur/o. 

Geii.  Vespertilio.    - 

Gen.  Plecotus. 
Gen.  Synotus. 


{ discolor. 







Fam.  Rhinolophid^. 

^        T17  •     7     7       {ferrum-equinum. 
^^''■^^'""^''i'^'''- [hipposideros. 

The  species,  of  which  a  figure  is  now  given,  Vesperugo  noctula 
(Plate  III.),  is  doubtless  the  best  known  of  the  larger  bats  in 
this  country,  and  is  very  widely  dispersed.  Kegarding  its 
distribution  in  the  British  Islands,  Bell  states  that  it  is  confined 
to  England,  the  northeinmost  locality  known  to  him  being 
Northallerton  in  Yorkshire,  a  statement  repeated  by  Alston 
('Fauna  of  Scotland,'  1880,  p.  7),  and  by  the  authors  of  the 
'Handbook  of  Yorkshire  Vertebrates,'  1881.  But,  although  it 
seems  pretty  clear  that  it  does  not  occur  in  Scotland,  or  at  least 


has  not  been  satisfactorily  identified  there,*  the  case  is  apparently 

otherwise  in  Ireland.     For  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  some 

specimens  of  a  large  bat  taken  at  Tandragee,  Co.  Armagh,  and 

reported  to  be   Vesperugo  leisleri,  were  in  reality  V.  noctula.     To 

be  more  explicit.     In  '  The  Zoologist '  for  July,  1874,  Mr.  R.  M. 

Barrington  gave  a  very  interesting   account  (pp.  4071  -  4074)  of 

the  discoverj',   in  June,   1868,  of  a  colony  of  large  bats  in  the 

demesne  of  the  Duke  of  Manchester  at  Tandragee,  Co.  Armagh, 

and    of  the  subsequent   capture   of  several    (presumably    of  the 

same  species)  at  the  same  place  in  May,  1874.     Mr.  Barrington 

identified  them  as  V.  leisleri,  observing  (p.  4072)  "they  were  all 

of  the  hairy-armed  species.     I  have  presented  two  specimens  to 

the  British  Museum."     These  two  specimens,  at  our  particular 

request,  were  examined  by  Dr.  Dobson  in  1876,  when  preparing 

his  Monograph   of  the  Asiatic   Chiroptera,  and  he  pronounced 

them  to  be  immature  examples  of  V.  noctula.     Considering  his 

intimate  acquaintance  with  this  order  of  mammals,  it  seems  to 

us  that  this  circumstance  establishes  the  fact  of  the  occurrence 

of  the  Noctule  in  Ireland,  while  it  does  not  necessarily  invalidate 

other  records  of  the  occurrence  in  the  same  country  of  Leisler's 

hairy-armed  bat.t     We   would  earnestly  invite  the   attention  of 

Irish  naturalists  to  this  matter,  and  beg  them  to  re-examine  such 

specimens  as  they  may  possess,  or  have  access  to,  and  favour  us 

with  their  conclusions.     It  may  be  useful  to  add,  in  the  words 

of  Dr.  Dobson,  that  in  all  respects,  except  in  the  relatival  size  and 

position  of  the  incisors,    V.   leisleri  resembles    V.  noctula,   and 

appears  on  an  external  examination  to  be  but  a  small  form  of 

that   species.      But   while   the   outer   incisor    on    each   side   in 

V.  noctula  is  but  half  the  transverse  diameter  at  its  base  of  the 

inner  incisor,  in  this  species  it  is  equal  to  it ;  the  lower  incisors 

also    stand  in  the  direction   of  the  jaws,  and  are  not  crowded. 

Length  of  an  adult  male  V.  leisleri  (preserved  in  alcohol),  head 

and  body,  2'3   in.;  tail,   1"05   in.;  head,    0*7  in.;    ear,    0*6  in,; 

■!=  Fleming  (Brit.  An.,  p.  6)  identified  the  Vespertilio  auriculatus  of 
Walker's  '  Fauna  Scotica '  with  V.  noctula,  and  this  species  is  stated  by  Sir 
Wm.  Jardine  to  have  been  "seen"  near  the  Eiver  Annan  in  Dumfriesshire 
(New  Stat.  Acct.  Dumfries,  p.  175),  but  its  occurrence  in  Scotland  has  not 
been  confirmed. 

I  Cf.  Bell,  p.  27.  Zool.  1874,  pp.  4071,  4'236 ;  Zool.  1875,  pp.  4419,  4532; 
Zool.  1883,  p.  116. 



tragus,  0'2  X  0"15  in. ;  forearm,  1'5  in.;  thumb,  0'25  in.;  second 
finger,  2'7  in. ;  fourth  finger,  1'8  in. ;  tibia,  0'65  in ;  foot  and  claws, 
0"3  in.     Or,  to  compare  the  measurements  of  the  two  species  :  — 

Both  males. 









4th  Tibia, 

Foot  & 

V.  noctula   . . 
V.  leisleri    .  . 




0-75    0-25 
0-6      0-2 




2-1  0-75 
1-8     0-65 


To  show  how  easily  a  mistake  may  be  made,  even  by  a 
practised  observer,  without  a  verj'^  careful  comparison,  we  may 
remark  that  V.  leisleri  has  been  recorded  to  have  occurred  in 
Norfolk,  near  Norwich  (Paine,  Ann.  Nat,  Hist.  ii.  p.  181,  1839), 
where  fourteen  were  said  to  have  been  taken  from  a  hollow  tree ; 
but  it  was  subsequently  stated  [torn,  cit,  p.  481)  that  the  speci- 
mens in  question  had  been  examined  by  the  Rev.  L.  Jenyns,  who 
was  of  opinion  that  the  species  was  not  V.  leisleri,  though  he 
was  uncertain  whether  it  was  the  young  of  V.  noctula  or  a 
distinct  species. 

Bell  states  (p.  18)  that  the  Noctule  is  a  tree-loving  species, 
and  that  not  a  single  instance  had  come  to  his  knowledge  of  its 
retirement  to  buildings  during  the  day.  Doubtless  hollow  trees 
usually  afi'ord  it  shelter,  but,  as  an  exception  to  the  rule,  we  may 
remark  that  in  West  Sussex  we  have  known  these  bats  to  resort 
to  the  roofs  of  old  thatched  cottages,  and  have  seen  them  go  up 
under  the  eaves. 

Mr.  W.  Harcourt  Bath,  referring  to  the  abundance  of  this 
species  in  the  midland  counties  ('  The  Field,'  Oct.  9th,  1886), 
states  that  in  the  day-time  they  conceal  themselves  in  holes  of 
trees,  and  among  ivy. 

Gilbert  White  remarked  that  he  never  saw  the  Noctule  on  the 
wing  till  the  end  of  April,  nor  later  than  July.  This  is  curious  ; 
for,  unless  the  habits  of  the  animal  have  changed,  he  might  have 
observed  it  in  a  parish  which  he  occasionally  visited  (the  parish 
of  Harting,  on  the  borders  of  Hampshire  and  Sussex)  during  the 
months  of  August  and  September.  We  have  repeatedly  seen 
them  on  the  wing  there  during  these  months,  and  well  remember 
shooting  two  of  them  for  a  friend  during  the  first  week  of 
September.  A  marginal  note  in  our  annotated  copy  of  Bell's 
work  indicates  that  John  Wolley  saw  the  Noctule  in  Cambridge- 
shire as  late  as  the  first  week  of  November. 

17  0  THE    ZOOLOGIST. 

Another  observation  of  Gilbert  White  was  to  the  effect  that 
this  bat  emits  a  very  offensive  odour,  a  circumstance  which  must 
have  been  remarked  by  every  one  who  has  handled  a  living 
specimen.  Mr.  D'Urban,  of  Exeter,  states  that  it  possesses  two 
large  glands  m  the  mouth,  from  which  this  odour  is  emitted.  It 
is  much  infested  with  parasites,  as  indeed  is  the  case  with  other 
species  of  bats  which  we  have  examined  in  a  living  state.  An 
experiment  of  putting  a  minute  drop  of  prussic  acid  on  the 
tongue  of  a  Noctule,  in  order  to  kill  it  speedily,  resulted  in  the 
unlooked-for  effect  of  causing  all  the  parasites  to  die  and  drop  off 
before  the  animal  itself  had  ceased  to  live.  While  on  the  subject 
of  parasites,  it  may  be  well  to  direct  attention  to  Prof.  Westwood's 
paper  on  the  parasites  of  bats,  published  in  the  '  Transactions  of 
the  Zoological  Society,'  vol.  i.  pp.  275  -  294.  This  paper,  which 
is  illustrated,  will  be  found  useful  by  those  who  wish  to  learn 
something  on  this  subject. 

It  is  well  known  that  the  Noctule  is  gregarious,  and  that 
large  numbers  are  sometimes  found  clustered  together  in  hollow 
trees.  Mr.  Gurney  states  that  the  sexes  live  in  separate  colonies, 
the  females  being  more  numerous.  Upon  this  we  may  remark 
that  in  February  last  an  old  and  decayed  tree  was  felled  in  the 
Bishop  of  London's  park  at  Fulham,  in  the  hollow  of  which  were 
found  clinging  a  solitary  pair  of  Noctules.  They  were  brought 
to  us  alive  the  following  day,  and  proved  to  be  male  and  female. 
From  one  of  these  the  accompanying  portrait  was  drawn  by 
Mr.  G.  E.  Lodge.  Note  the  position  in  which  the  tail  is  carried 
as  compared  with  that  of  R.  ferrum-equinum  (Plate  I.) 

We  have  no  information  as  to  the  occurrence  of  this  species 
in  Wales,  although  it  is  met  with  as  far  to  the  south-west  as 
Cornwall  (c/.  Cocks,  'Naturalist,'  i.  (1851),  p.  37).  We  should 
be  glad  also  to  receive  some  confirmation  (or  refutation)  of  the 
statement  (Bell,  p.  23)  that  in  England  the  northernmost  locality 
from  which  specimens  have  been  received  is  Northallerton,  in 
Yorkshire.  Certainly  it  is  not  included  in  the  excellent  Catalogue 
of  the  Mammalia  of  Northumberland  and  Durham  (Trans.  Tyne- 
side  Nat.  Field  Club,  vol.  vi.  (1864),  pp.  111-177),*  although, 
strange  to  say,  a  single  specimen  of  V.  serotinus  (usually  regarded 
as  more  southern  in  its  distribution)  is  stated  by  them  to  have 
been  taken  at  Cleadon,  and  to  be  preserved  in  the  museum  at 

*  Mr.  R.  B,  Lee  informs  lis  that  it  occurs  at  Kendal. 


Newcastle-on-Tyne.  Is  this  possibly  V.  noctula  ?  The  "  rich 
chestnut  colour  of  the  fur  "  particularly  alluded  to  by  the  authors 
of  the  catalogue  cited  is  a  description  not  inapplicable  to 
V.  noctula. 

By  G.  a.  Boulenger. 

Having  received  several  applications  for  information  re- 
specting the  nomenclature  of  South  African  Snakes,  I  have 
thought  that  the  publication  of  the  following  list  would  be 
welcome  not  only  to  naturalists  in  the  colony  but  also  to 
herpetologists  elsew^iere.  The  grand  work  of  Sir  Andrew  Smith 
(1838—49)  is  an  imperfect  guide  to  the  identification  of  South 
African  reptiles,  for  the  reason  that  the  species  described  are 
not  arranged  in  systematic  order,  and  that  a  great  number, 
often  the  commonest,  are  either  entirely  left  out  or  alluded 
to  by  name  only,  without  any  definition  of  their  characters. 
The  standard  ophiological  works  of  Dumeril  and  Bibron, 
Giinther,  and  Jan,  to  which  I  have  constantly  referred  in  the 
following  list,  as  being  almost  indispensable  to  the  student, 
are  likewise  incomplete  and  out  of  date.  I  have  therefore 
added  an  artificial  key  (the  characters  selected  applying  only 
to  South  African  forms)  to  genera  and  species,  which  I  hope 
will  greatly  facilitate  their  recognition,  and  perhaps  lead  to 
the  discovery  of  some  that  may  be  new  to  science,  or  hitherto 
unrecorded  from  South  Africa.  I  have  also  indicated  the 
localities  whence  specimens  have  been  received  by  the  British 
Museum,  and  drawn  attention  to  the  desiderata.  I  have  taken 
the  25°  lat.  S.  as  the  northern  limit  of  the  S.  African  district. 

1.  Stenostomatidj^.     Bliud,  worm-like  burrowing  snakes,  witli  the  bellv 
scaled  like  the  back ;    the  shield  under  which  the  eye  is  situated 
borders  the  lip. 

A  single  genus. Stenostoma. 

TI.  Typhlopid.e.  Blind,  worm-like  burrowing  snakes,  with  the  belly 
scaled  like  the  back  ;  the  shield  under  which  the  eye  is  situated 
does  not  reach  the  lip. 

A  single  genus. Typhlops. 


III.   BoiDJi.     A  spur  (rudiment  of  hiud  limb)  on  each  side  of  the  vent. 

Scales  very  small,  more  than  fifty  across  the  body ;   belly  shielded. 

Pupil  linear,  erect. 

A  single  genus. Python. 

IV.  CoLUBRiD^.     Head  with  large  symmetrical  shields.     Belly  shielded. 

No  grooved  maxillary  fangs  anteriorly. 

A.  Subcaudal  shields  in  a  single  row,  like  the  ventrals ;  eye  very  small, 

with  round  pupil. Uriechis. 

B.  Subcaudals  divided. 

1.  Scales  smooth,  equal ;  pupil  round. 

a.  Eostral  shield  very  large,  with  horizontal  cutting  edge. 


b.  Rostral  without  cutting  edge. 

«.   Nostril  pierced  between  two  shields,  the  second  of  which 
touches  the  eye.  ....     Chokistodon. 

/3.  Two  or  more  shields  on  a  line  between  the  nostril  and 
the  eye. 
=:=  Loreal  shield  (between  nasal  and  prseocular)  not  much 
longer  than  deep. 
15  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body.     -         -     Homalosoma. 
27  or  29  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body.   -       Coronella. 
17  or  19  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body.     Psammophylax. 
*t-  Loreal  shield  at  least  twice  as  long  as  deep ;   15  or  17 
scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body. 
Snout  pointed   and  strongly  projecting  beyond  the  lower  lip ; 
tail  not  five  times  the  length  of  the  head.         Rhamphiopuis. 
Snout  long  and  obtuse ;    tail  long ;   frontal  (interorbital)  shield 

narrow. Psammophis. 

Snout  obtuse;  colour  green.  -         •         -    Philothamnus. 

2.  Dorsal  scales  keeled. 

Eye  extremely  large,  with  round  pupil ;  vertebral  scales  broader 

than  the  others,  unicarinate.  -  -  .  -  Bucephalus. 
Eye  very  large,  with  horizontal  pupil.  -  -  Dryophis. 
Eye    moderale ;     vertebral    scales    broader    than    the    others, 

bicarinate.  ......     Heterolepis. 

Eye  moderate,  with  vertical  pupil ;  scales  equal.       Dasypeltis. 
3.  Scales  smooth  ;   pupil  vertically  elliptic. 

a.  Head  broad,  considerably  broader  than  the  neck  ;   19  scales 
across  the  middle  of  the  body.         -         -       Leptodika. 

h.  Head  not  very  distinct  from  the  neck. 
Nostril  in  a  single  nasal;    17  scales  across  the  middle  of  the 

body.  .......     Lycophidium. 

Nostril  between  two  nasals;    19  to  23  scales  across  the  middle 


of  the  body;    anterior  maxillary  teeth  but  slightly  larger  than 

the  others. Lamprophis. 

Nostril  between   two    nasals ;    23   or   more   scales   across   the 
middle  of  the  body ;    anterior  teeth  considerably  larger  than 

the  others. Boodon. 

V.  Elapid^.     Head  with  large  symmetrical  shields.     Belly  shielded. 
Long  grooved  or  canaliculate  maxillary  fangs  anteriorly.     Poisonous. 

A.  Eye  large  or  moderate. 

1.  Rostral  shield  not  of  unusual  proportions. 

a.  Dorsal  scales  smooth. 
Anal  shield  single.       -.-....     Naia. 
Anal  divided ;    colour  green.         -         -         -  Dendraspis. 

h.  Dorsal  scales  keeled. 
Two  labial  shields  enter  the  eye;  scales  strongly  keeled. 


Eye  separated  from  the  labials  by  a  subocular  shield;   dorsal 

scales  feebly  keeled,  laterals  smooth.      -         -         .     Causus. 

2.  Rostral  shield  enormous,  triangular.  -         -      Aspidelaps. 

B.  Eye  very  small. 

13  or  15  scales  across  the  body.  -         -         .        .     Elaps. 

21  or  more  scales  across  the  body  ;  colour  uniform  blackish. 

VI.  ViPERiD^.     Upper  surface  of  head  covered  with  small  scales.     Pupil 
vertical,  linear.     Poisonous. 

A  single  genus.        •         -         -         ■         -         .         .     Vipkra. 


1.  Stenostoma,  Wagl. 
1.  Stenostoma  nigricans,  Schleg. ;  Durn.  &  Bibr.  vi.  p.  326  ; 
Smith,  111.  pi.  li.  fig.  4,  pi.  liv.  figs.  21,  25  ;  Jan,  Icon.  2,  v.  &  vi.  8. 
S.  conjunctinn,  Jan,  Icon.  2,  v.  &  vi.  9.  "  Inhabits  the  interior 
of  South  Africa,  and  is  generally  found  under  large  flat  stones, 
or  other  bodies  lying  on  the  surface  of  the  e^-th."  —  Smith. 
Port  Elizabeth  (B.  M.) 

II.  Typhlopid^. 

2.  Typhloijs,  Schn. 

A.  28    to   32   scales    round   the    middle    of   the    body;    snout   with 

angular  edge. 
Eye  entirely  under  the  ocular;  edge  of  snout  sharp,  cutting.  -     delalandli. 
Eye  under  the  suture  between  the  ocular  and  the  praeocular.  -         hibronii. 

B.  20  to  2(3  scales  round  the  body;    snout  rounded. 

Upper  part  of  rostral  shield  broader  than  the  contiguous  (nasal)  shields ; 
nasal  semidivided ;  eye  entirely  under  the  ocular.     -         -     verticalls. 


Upper  part  of  rostral  broader  than  the  contiguous  shields;  nasal  com- 
pletelj'  divided;  eye  under  the  suture  between  the  ocular  and 
the  praeocular.  .......       viossaiiibicus. 

Upper  part  of  rostral  not  or  scarcely  wider  than  the  contiguous  shields ; 
20  scales  round  the  body.         ......     capeiisis. 

2.  Typhlops  delalandii,  D.  &  B.  Onychocephalus  delalandii, 
Dum.  &  Bibr.  vi.  p.  273 ;  Smith,  111.  pi.  li.  fig.  1,  &  pi.  liv. 
figs.  1 — 4.  TyiMops  smithii,  Jan,  Icon.  1,  v.  5.  Typhloiis 
lalandii,  Jan,  Icon.  4,  iv.  1.  "  Is  pretty  widely  distributed  over 
the  southern  parts  of  Africa,  and  is  generally  found  under  large 
stones  and  trunks  of  decayed  trees,  or  in  soil  broken  up  by  the 
plough,  or  otherwise  displaced  by  the  spade  or  pick-axe." — Smith. 
Cape,  Karroo  (B.  M.) 

3.  Typhlops  hihronii,  Smith.  Onychocephalus  hihronii,  Smith, 
111.  pis.  li.  fig.  2,  &  pi.  liv.  figs.  5 — 8.  "  Inhabits  the  country  to 
the  northward  of  Latakoo." — Smith.  King  William's  Town, 
Port  Natal,  Lessouto  (B.  M.) 

4.  Typhlops  verficcdis,  Smith.  Onychocephalus  rerticalis, 
Smith,  111.  pi.  liv.  fig.  a.  "  Inhabits  the  interior  districts  of 
South  AMcSi."— Smith.     B.  M. 

5.  Typhlops  mossamhicus,  Peters ;  Jan,  Icon.  5,  v.  3.  Delagoa 
Bay  (Jan). 

6.  Typhlops  capensis,  Smith.  Onychocephcdus  ccqyensis,  Smith, 
111.  pis.  li.  fig.  3,  &  liv.  figs.  9— 16.  "Inhabits  the  interior  of 
South  Africa."— Smji/i.     Cape  Town  (B.  M.) 

III.    BoiDiE. 

3.  Python,  Cuv.  ■ 

7.  Python  natalensis,  Smith,  111.  pi.  ix.  P.  sehce,  var. 
natalensis,  Jan,  Icon.  8,  iv.  "  This  snake  was  formerly  an  in- 
habitant of  the  district  now  within  the  Cape  Colony.  At  present 
it  is  not  to  be  found  within  hundreds  of  miles  of  the  boundaries 
of  the  colony,  and  few  sj)ecimens  have  been  obtained  nearer  than 
Port  Natal."— ^mii/t.     Natal  (B.  M.) 


4.   Uriechis,  Peters. 
15  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body  ;    pale  yellowish  brown,  head  and 

neck  black. capensis. 

25  scales  across  the  body  ;  uniform  black.         -         -         -    microlepidutus. 


8.  Uriechis  capensis,  Smith.  Elapomorphxis  cupensis,  Smith, 
111.,  App.  p.  16.  Aparallactus  capensis,  Smith,  1.  c.  Uriechis 
capensis,  Jan,  Icon.  15,  i.  5.  "  Inhabits  Kaffirland,  to  the  east- 
ward of  the  Cape  Colony." — Smith.     Kaffirland  (B.  M.) 

9.  Uriechis  microlepidotus,  Giinther,  Ann.  &  Mag.  Nat.  Hist. 
(3),  V.  1860,  p.  168,  pi.  ix.     Natal  (B.  M.) 

5.  Choristodon,  Smith. 

10.  Choristodon  concolor,  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  18.  "  Inhabits 
Kaffirland  to  the  eastward  of  the  Cape  Colony." — Smith,  Not 
in  the  British  Museum. 

6.  Temnorhynchus,  Smith. 

11.  Temnorhynchus  sundevallii.  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  17. 
Bhinostoma  cupreum,  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  9.  "  Inhabits  Kaffir- 
land, to  the  eastward  of  the  Cape  Colony." — Smith.  Orange 
Eiver  (B.  M.) 

7.  Homalosoma,  Wagl. 

12.  Homalosoma  lutrix,  L.  Homalosoma  arctiventris,  Smith, 
111.,  App.  p.  16.  Homalosoma  lutrix,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  110; 
Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  20;  Jan,  Icon.  13,  iii.  3.  "Inhabits  the 
whole  of  Southern  Africa,  and  is  generally  observed  among  dry 
grass  or  in  loose  soil,  more  especially  near  the  roots  of  shrubs." 
—Smith.     Cape,  Natal  (B.  M.) 

8.  Coronella,  Laur. 

13.  Coronella  cana,  L.  -Coluher  canus,  Smith,  111.  pis.  xiv. — 
xvii.  Coronella  cana,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  613;  Giinth.  Col.  Sn. 
p.  40.     Cape,  Cape  Cook  (B.  M.) 

Black  variety,  Coronella  phocarum,  Giinth.  Proc.  Zool.  Soc. 
1872,  p.  836.     Eobben  Island  (B.  M.) 

9.  Psammophylax,  Fitz. 
Rostral  shield  not  deeper  than   broad,  not  extending  between    the  inter- 
nasals.      -...-...         multiuiaculatus. 
Rostral  deeper  than  broad,  wedged  in  between  the  internasals.     rhomheatus. 

14.  Psammophylax  mxdtimaculatus,  Smith.  Amplorhinus 
multimaculatus,  Smith,  111.  pi.  Ivii.  Dipsas  smithii,  Dum.  &  Bibr. 
vii.  p.  1162.       Coronella  multimaculata,   Gunth.  Col.  Su.  p.  38. 


Psammophylax  multimacidatus,  Jan,  Icon.  19,  i.  1.  "  Earely  ob- 
tained in  South  Africa;  found  in  arid  barren  localities." — Smith. 
Cape  (B.  M.) 

15.  Psammophylax  rJiomheatus,  L.  Trimerorhinus  rhombeatus, 
Smith,  III.  pi.  Ivi.  Dipsas  rhomheata,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1154. 
Psammophylax  rhombeatus,  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  31.  N.  vulg., 
"  Shaap  Sticker."  "  Occurs  throughout  the  whole  of  South 
Africa,  and  is  generally  found  in  dry  barren  situations,  but  not 
unfrequently  also  in  grassy  districts." — Smith.     Cape  (B.  M.) 

10.  Rhamphiophis,  Peters. 

16.  Rhamphiophis  multimacxdatus,  Smith.  Coronella  miilti- 
macidata,  Smith,  111.  pi.  Ixi.  Dipsina  midtimacidata,  Jan,  Icon. 
19,  ii.  1.  "  Country  of  the  Bushmen,  near  to  the  Orange  Eiver. 
Burrow  in  the  sand." — Smith.     Damaraland  (B.  M.) 

11.  Psammophis,  Schleg. 

17  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body.  -  -  -  -  -  sihilans. 
15  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body.    -----     crucifer. 

17.  Psammophis  sibilans,  L. ;  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  136 ;  Jan, 
Icon.  84,  iii.  P.  moliniger,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  891.  In  sandy 
localities.  Cape,  Port  Natal,  Kaffraria,  Orange  Eiver  (B.  M.) 
Curiously,  this  as  well  as  the  next  species  are  omitted  from 
Smith's  work. 

18.  Psammophis  crucifer,  Merr. ;  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  892 ; 
Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  185 ;  Jan,  Icon.  34,  iv.  8.  Cape,  Namaqua- 
land  (B.  M.) 

12.  Philothamnus,  Smith. 

Ventral  shields  without  a  lateral  keel.  -  .  .  .  hoplogaster. 
Ventral  sliields  with  a  lateral  keel. natalensis. 

19.  Philothamnus  hoplogaster,  Giinth.  AhcetuUa  hoplogaster, 
Giinth.  Ann.  &  Mag.  Nat.  Hist.  (3),  xi.  1868,  p.  284.  Port  Natal, 
Damaraland  (B.  M.) 

20.  Philothamnus  natalensis.  Smith,  111.  pi.  Ixiv.  "Frequents 
shrubs  and  trees  at  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Port  Natal." — 
Smith.  Cape,  King  William's  Town,  Port  Natal,  Orange  Eiver, 
Damaraland  (B.  M.) 


13.  Bucephalus,  Smith. 

21.  Bucephalus  capensis,  Smith,  111.  pis.  x. — xiii. ;  Giinth. 
Col.  Sn.  p.  143.  Bucephalus  typxis,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  878 ; 
Jan,  Icon.  32,  iv.  N.  vulg.,  "Boom-slange,"  Tree  Snake.  Port 
Natal  (B.  M.) 

Uniform  bright  green  variety  :  B.  viridis,  Smith,  pi.  iii.  Old 

14.  Dryophis,  Boie. 

22.  Dryophis  kirtlandii,  Hallow.  Thelotornis  capensis,  Smith, 
111.,  App.  p.  19.  Dryiophis  kirtlandii,  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  156. 
Thelotornis  kirtlandii,  Peters,  Eeise  n.  Mossamb.  iii.  p.  131. 
"Inhabits  Kaffirland  and  the  country  towards  Port  Natal." — 
Smith.  Arboreal.  The  British  Museum  has  not  yet  received 
this  species  from  South  Africa. 

15.  Lycophidi'um,  Fitz. 

23.  Lycophidium  capensis,  Smith.  Lycodon  capensis,  Smith, 
111.  pi.  V.  Lycophidion  horstockii,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  4]  2 ; 
Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  197  ;    Jan,  Icon.  36,  iii.  3.     Kurichane,  lat. 

25°  S.  (Smith).     Cape,  Port  Elizabeth,  Natal  (B.  M.) 

16.  Laviprophis,  Fitz. 

23   scales  across  the  middle   of  the  body,  those  of  the  vertebral   series 

larger.         ..--...-.         aurora. 
23  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body,  equal.        -         -         -        Jiskii. 
19  scales  across  the  middle  of  the  body.         ....         rufulus. 

24.  Laviprophis  aurora,  L. ;  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  19; 
Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  431 ;  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  195.  "  Occurs 
throughout  South  Africa,  but  nowhere  in  abundance.  In  the 
Colony  it  is,  from  its  moving  much  during  the  night,  known, 
like  Aspidclaps  lubricus,  by  the  name  of  *  Nacht  Slang.'  " — Smith. 
Cape,  King  William's  Town,  Orange  Kiver  (B.  M.) 

25.  Lamprophis  jiskii,  Blgr. ;  Boulenger,  Proc.  Zool.  Soc.  1887. 
Touw's  Eiver. 

26.  Lamprophis  rufidus,  Licht. ;  Smith,  111.  pi.  Iviii. ;  Jan, 
Icon.  17,  iv.  1.  Ablabes  rufulus,  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.p.  30.  "  This  snake 
has  an  extensive  range,  being  found  in  damp  localities  throughout 
the  entire  of  South  Africa.     It  is  generally  discovered  in  marshy 

ZOOLOGIST.— MAY,  1857.  P 


spots,  and  on  the  banks  of  rivers,  and  is  occasionally  observed 
actually  in  water  trying  to  capture  frogs,  &c.,  which  form  its 
favourite  food." — Smith.  Cape,  King  William's  Town,  Natal 
(B.  M.) 

17.  Booclon,  D.  &  B. 

27.  Boodon  lineatus,  D.  &  B.  Lycodon  geometricus  (non 
Schleg.),  Smith,  111.  pi.  xxii.  Bocedon  lineattim,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii. 
p.  363  ;  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  199.  Bocedon  capense,  Dum.  &  Bibr. 
vii.  15.  364.  Bocedon  quadrilineatum,  Jan,  Icon.  36,  ii.  2  &  3. 
"  Barely  seen  in  S.  Africa  ;  resorts  to  dry  and  arid  situations." — 
SmitJi.  Cape,  King  William's  Town,  Natal,  Orange  Biver, 
Damaraland  (B.  M.) 

Black  variety :  B.  inferncdis,  Giinth.  I.  c.  p.  199.  Port  Natal, 
Port  Elizabeth,  Damaraland  (B.  M.) 

18.  Heterolepis,  Smith. 
8  upper  labials,  4th,  5th,  and  6th  entering  the  eye.       -         -         capensis. 
7  upper  labials,  3rd  and  4th  entering  the  eye.        -         -         -         gueinzii. 

28.  Heterolepis  capensis,  Smith,  111.  pi.  Iv.  Eastern  districts 
of  the  Cape  Colony  (Smith).  Desideratum  in  the  British 

29.  Heterolepis  gueinzii^  Peters,  Mon.  Berl.  Ac.  1874,  p.  163, 
pi.  — ,  fig.  2.     Port  Natal.     Likewise  a  B.  M.  desideratum. 

19.  Leptodira,  Fitz. 

7  upper   labials,    3rd   and   4th    entering    the   eye ;     a    single    anterior 

temporal. punctata. 

8  upper  labials,  3rd,   4th,  and  5tli  entering  the  eye ;    a  single  anterior 

temporal.         ...  ....  rufescens. 

9  upper  labials,   3rd,   4th,  and   5th   entering  the   eye;    two   superposed 

temporals  behind  the  postoculars.     -         -         -         .      semiannulata. 

30.  Leptodira,  piunctata,  Ptrs.  Grotaphopeltis  jmnctata,  Peters, 
Mon.  Berl.  Ac.  1866,  p.  93.     S.  Africa,  no  precise  locality. 

31.  Leptodira  rufescens,  Gm.  Crotaphopeltis  rufescens,  Smith, 
111.,  Ai^p.  p.  18;  Jan,  Icon.  39,  ii.  1.  Heterurus  rufescens, 
Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1170.  Leptodeira  rufescens,  Giinth.  Col. 
Sn.  p.  165.  "  Inhabits  most  parts  of  S.  Africa,  but  specimens 
are  most  easily  obtained  near  Cape  Town  and  on  the  south- 
eastern coast." — Smith.     Cape,  Port  Elizabeth,  Natal  (B.  M.) 


32.  Leptodira  semianmilata,  Smith.  Telescopm  semiannu- 
latus,  Smith,  111.  pi.  Ixxii.  Loc.  ?  Not  represented  in  the 
British  Museum. 

20.  Dasypeltis,  Wagl. 

33.  Dasypeltis  scabra,  L. ;  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  20 ;  Giinth. 
Col.  Sn.  p.  142.  Rachiodon  scaher,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  viii.  p.  491  ; 
Jan,  Icon.  39,  ii.  4.  "Inhabits  the  more  southern  parts  of 
Africa,  and  consumes  with  avidity  the  eggs  of  birds." — Smith. 
Cape  (B.  M.) 

Variety,  uniform  brown  above  :  D.  palmarum,  Leach;  Giinth. 
I.  c.     D.  inornatas,  Smith,  pi.  Ixxiii.     Port  Natal  (B.  M.) 

V.  Elapidje. 
21.  Naia,  Laur. 

34.  Naia  haie,  L. ;  Smith,  111.  pis.  xviii. — xxi. ;  Dam.  &  Bibr. 
vii.  p.  1298 ;  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  225  ;  Jan,  Icon.  i.  2.  Cobra  de 
Capello.  South  African  specimens  are  desiderata  in  the  British 

22.  Dendraspis,  Schleg. 

35.  Dendraspis  angusticeps,  Smith.  Naia  angusticeps,  Smith, 
111.  pi.  Ixx. ;  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1301.  Dendraspis  angusticeps, 
Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  238.  "This  species  occurs  about  Natal  and 
in  the  country  to  the  eastward,  towards  Delagoa  Bay." — Smith. 
South  African  specimens  are  desiderata  in  the  British  Museum. 

23.  Sepedon,  Merr. 

36.  Sepedon  hcemachates,  Merr.  Naia  hcemachates,  Smith, 
111.  pi.  xxxiv.  Sepedon  hcemachates,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1259. 
Aspidelaps  hcemachates,  Jan,  Icon.  44,  vi.  4.  "  King  Hals  Slang  " 
of  the  Cape  colonists.  "  Specimens  have  been  found  in  almost 
every  district  of  South  Africa  which  has  yet  been  explored.  It 
appears  to  prefer  localities  in  which  the  soil  is  loose,  sandy,  and 
coated  with  brushwood."— /Shw^/i.     Cape,  Namaqualand  (B.  M.) 

24.  Aspidelaps,  Fitz. 
Frontal  shield  longer  than  broad  ;  3rd  and  4tli  upper  labials  entering  the 
eye.     ----...-..         lubricus. 
Frontal  not  longer  than  broad  ;  4th  upper  labial  entering  the  eye.     sciUatiis. 

37.  Aspidelaps  lubricus,  Merr. ;  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  21 ;  Jan, 
Icon.  44,  vi.  2.      Elaps  lubricus,  Dum.   &  Bibr.    vii.   p.  1218. 


Cyrtophis  scutatus  (non  Smith),  Giinth.  Col.  Sn.  p.  227-  "  Naeht 
Slang-'  of  the  Cape  colonists.  "Inhabits  South  Africa,  more 
particularly  towards  Cape  Town." — Smith.  Cape,  Kaffraria 
(B.  M.) 

38.  Aspiclelaps  scutatus,  Smith.  Cyrtophis  scutatus,  Smith, 
111.,  App.  p.  22.  Aspiclelaps  scutatus,  Jan,  Icon.  44,  vi.  3. 
"  Inhabits  Kaf&rland  and  the  country  towards  Port  Natal." — 
Smith.     Natal  (B.  M.) 

25.  Elaps,  Schn. 

A.  15  scales  across  the  body. 

3rd  upper  labial  much  larger  than  first  and  second ;  belly  yellowish  with  a 
black  median  baud,  or  blackish  with  yellowish  spots  or  transverse 
bars.       ..--.-....         hygicB. 

The  three  anterior  upper  labials  subequal ;  blackish  above,  with  a  yellowish 
vertebral  streak,  uniform  yellowish  inferiorly.     -         -         -      dorsalis. 

B.  13  scales  across  the  body.  ....  sundevallii. 

39.  Elaps  higice,  Shaw;  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  21 ;  Dum.  &  Bibr. 
vii.  p.  1213 ;  Giinth.  Col.  Su.  p.  232 ;  Jan,  Icon.  43,  ii.  3. 
"Kouseband"  of  the  Cape  colonists.  "Found  in  all  parts  of 
South  Ainca."— Smith.     Cape  (B.  M.) 

40.  Elaps  dorsalis,  Smith,  111.,  App.  p.  21.  "  Inhabits  Kaffir- 
land,  and  the  country  towards  Port  Natal." — Smith.  King 
WilHam's  Town  (B.  M.) 

41.  Elaps  sundevallii.  Smith,  111.  pi.  Ixvi.  "  Inhabits 
South  Africa  to  the  eastward  of  the  Cape  Colony." — Smith. 
Does  not  appear  to  have  been  rediscovered  since  the  description 
was  published  by  Smith  from  a  specimen  belonging  to  Sundevall, 
of  Stockholm. 

26.  Atractaspis,  Smith. 

42.  Atractaspis  irregidaris,  Eeinh.  A.  hihronii.  Smith,  111. 
pi.  Ixxi. ;  Jan,  Icon.  43,  iii.  2.  A.  irregularis,  Giinth.  Col.  Sn. 
p.  239;  Jan,  Icon.  43,  iii.  1.  "Inhabits  the  eastern  districts  of 
the  Cape  Colony." — Smith.  Smith's  original  specimen  is  now 
in  the  British  Museum. 

27.  Causiis,  Wagl. 
43.  Causus  rhombeatus,  Licht.     Sepedon  rliomheatns,  Smith, 
111.,  App.  p.  21.     Causus  rhumbeatus,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1263. 


"Frequently  found  in  the  Cape  Colony." — Smith.     Port  Natal, 
Port  Elizabeth  (B.  M.) 


28.  Vipera,  Laur. 

A.  Lower  surface  of  tail  with  a  well-developed  double  series  of  sub- 

caudal  shields,  as  in  the  innocuous  snakes. 

1.  Nostrils  directed  upwards,  their  distance  from  the  lip  equalling 

the  distance  from  the  eye  to  the  lip         -         -         -     arietans. 

2.  Nostrils  lateral. 

11  or  12  shields  border  the  upper  lip  on  each  side,  the  fourth  being 
considerably  larger  than  the  others      -----     atropos. 

13  subequal  labial  shields  on  each  side  ;  head  tliick  and  globular,  nearly 
twice  the  diameter  of  the  neck  -----         atropoides. 

13  or  14  subequal  labial  shields  on  each  side  ;  head  much  longer  than 
broad ;  coloration  uniform  yellowish  brown  -  -         -  inornata. 

B.  Lower  surface  of  tail  with  feebly  differentiated,  feebly-keeled  scales. 
No  horn-like  tubercle  above  the  eye  -  -  -  -  .  schneideri. 
A  horn-like  erect  tubercle  above  the  eye  -  -  -  -  caudalis. 
Two  or  more  erect  horn-like  tubercles  above  the  eye    -        -        -   cornuta. 

4:4:.  Vipera  arietans,  Merr.  Echidna  arietans,  Smith,  111., 
App.  p.  21 ;  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1425.  Vipera  arietans,  Jan, 
Icon.  45,  vi.  3  &  4.  "  Puff  Adder  "  of  the  Cape  colonists.  "  Has 
been  observed  in  all  the  districts  of  S.  Africa  which  have  been 
visited  by  Europeans." — Smith.     Cape,  Natal  (B.  M.) 

45.  Vipera  atropos,  L.  Smith,  111.  pi.  Hi. ;  Jan,  Icon.  45,  iv. 
1  &  2.  Echidna  atropos,  Dum.  &  Bibr.  vii.  p.  1432.  "  Berg 
Adder  "  of  the  colonists.  "  Has  been  found  in  every  district  of 
S.  Ah-iea."— Smith.     Cape  (B.  M.) 

46.  Vipera  atropoides.  Smith,  111.  pi.  liii.  "  The  only 
specimen  procured  [which  is  now  in  the  British  Museum]  was 
from  the  vicinity  of  a  missionary  institution  about  forty  miles 
to  the  eastward  of  Cape  Town." — Smith. 

47.  Vipera  inornata.  Smith.  Echidna  inornata.  Smith,  111. 
pi.  iv.  "  This  snake  [now  in  the  British  Museum]  was  killed  in  the 
Sneeubergen,  or  Snow  Mountains,  which  are  situated  immediately 
behind  the  village  of  Graaff  Eeynet."— *S'h(/^/;. 

48.  Vipera  schneideri,  Boettger,  Ber.  Scuckenb.  Ges.  1886, 
p.  8,  pi.  i.  fig.  1.     Angra  Pequeiia. 

49.  Vipera  caudalis.  Smith,  111.  pi.  vii.      Cerastes  oceUatus, 


Smith,  pi.  iv.  (text).     Kestricted  to  dry  sandy  districts.     Cape, 
Damaraland  (B.  M.) 

50.  Vipera  corniita,  Daud.  Smith,  111.  pi.  xxsii.  Vipera 
lopliophrys,  Smith,  111.  pi.  xsxiii.  Cerastis  lophophrys,  Dum.  & 
Bibr.  vii.  p.  1444.  "  Hornsman  "  of  the  Cape  colonists.  Cape 
(B.  M.) 

NOTES    ON   THE    SEAL    AND    WHALE    FISHERY   OF    1886. 
By  Thomas  Southwell,  F.Z.S. 

We  must  go  back  many  years  in  the  history  of  the  Seal  and 
"Whale  Fishery  before  we  shall  find  so  disastrous  a  season  in 
all  respects  as  the  past  has  been  ;  certainly  it  is  unparalleled  in 
the  history  of  the  Dundee  fishery  :  a  season  of  great  severity 
has  resulted  in  poor  catches,  still  poorer  prices  for  produce,  and 
in  the  loss  of  one  ship  at  Newfoundland  and  four  in  Davis 
Straits.  It  is  not  likely,  with  the  present  prospects,  that  any  of 
these  will  be  replaced,  and  it  is  even  doubtful  whether  all  the 
vessels  which  returned  from  last  season's  fishing  will  repeat  the 
venture  in  1887  ;  in  addition  to  which  there  are  rumours  of  a 
partial  desertion  of  the  northern  fishing-grounds  for  the  purpose 
of  exploring  the  Polar  seas  of  the  Southern  Hemisphere. 

The  first  disaster  occurred  on  March  27th,  when  the  Dundee 
steamer  '  Resolute '  was  crushed  in  the  ice  in  Notre  Dame  Bay, 
her  crew  having  barely  time  to  save  themselves  by  jumping  on  the 
ice,  where  they  suffered  intensely  from  cold  and  exposure,  having 
to  travel  seventy  miles  over  ice  before  thej'  reached  a  place 
of  safety ;  three  of  their  number,  at  first  believed  to  have  been 
lost,  were  subsequently  picked  up  by  the  sealer  '  Hector,'  and 
landed  safely  at  St.  John's.  The  *  Resolute,'  at  the  time  of  her 
loss,  had  20,000  Seals  on  board.  Another  Dundee  vessel,  the 
'  Aurora,'  had  a  narrow  escape.  Four  days  after  leaving  St. 
John's  she  discovered  the  main  pack  of  Seals,  and  had  every 
prospect  of  securing  a  full  cargo,  but  a  gale  of  great  violence 
coming  on,  which  continued  for  several  days,  she  was  driven 
before  its  force  a  distance  of  about  one  hundred  miles,  ultimately 
to  be  stopped  by  an  iceberg  off  Cape  Bonavista,  where  she 
remained  in  a  position  of  great  danger  from  the  falling  ice.  Soon 
after,  a  second  iceberg  floating  down  upon  her  crushed  one  of  her 

THE    SEAL   AND    WHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  183 

boats,  and  injured  the  ship  so  much  that  she  began  to  leak  ;  all 
this  time  the  weather  was  of  great  severity,  and  the  snow  and 
mist  blinding.  Ultimately  the  ice  eased,  to  the  intense  relief  of 
her  crew,  and  with  the  loss  of  one  of  her  men  the  'Aurora' 
returned  to  St.  John's  to  refit.  On  her  second  trip  she  secured 
640  old  Seals. 

The  total  result,  so  far  as  the  twenty-one  British  vessels  which 
took  part  in  the  Newfoundland  fishery  were  concerned,  was  one 
lost,  two  clean  ;  and  amongst  the  remaining  eighteen  vessels  a  take 
of  195,396  Seals  (against  Sll,587  for  nineteen  British  vessels 
last  year) ;  of  these  the  '  Ranger '  took  35,894,  the  '  Falcon  ' 
24,768,  the  'Wolf  19,521,  the  'Leopard'  15,954,  and  the 
'  Greenland  '  15,000.  Of  the  remaining  thirteen  vessels,  the 
total  catch  was  84,259,  or  an  average  of  6481 ;  the  average  of  the 
whole  eighteen  being  10,855  Seals,  the  produce  of  which  was 
worth  about  ^18  10s.  per  ton. 

Taking  the  Dundee  portion  of  the  above  fleet  alone,  which 
consisted  of  six  vessels,  one— the  '  Resolute' — as  before  said,  was 
lost,  and  the  remaining  five  vessels  brought  home  only  41,606 
Seals  (as  against  71,272  the  i^revious  season),  or  an  average  of 
8321  each.  It  will  thus  be  seen  that  for  the  whole  of  the  Dundee 
vessels,  and  ten  of  the  St.  John's  fleet,  the  voyage,  so  far,  must 
have  been  a  most  unprofitable  one,  even  if  the  price  of  produce 
had  been  much  higher  than  it  now  is  ;  practically  only  the  five 
vessels  enumerated  as  having  taken  15,000  Seals  and  upwards 
made  paying  voyages. 

The  Greenland  sealing  has  this  season  been  an  entire  failure, 
not  so  much,  perhaps,  from  the  absence  of  Seals  as  from 
the  severity  of  the  weather,  and  the  state  of  the  ice  pre- 
venting an  ai^proach  to  the  breeding  pack.  The  passage  out  was 
a  fair  one,  and  the  Seals  were  found  on  April  2nd,  in  lat.  74° 
N.,  long.  2°  E. ;  but  the  weather  proved  so  tempestuous  that  it 
was  not  until  the  7th  they  could  be  reached,  and  the  strong  gales 
had  then  broken  up  the  ice  into  small  patches,  and  thus  dispersed 
the  Seals.  Three  Scotch  vessels  only  were  present,  the  '  Erik,' 
'  Hope,'  and  '  Earl  of  Mar  and  Kellie '  (the  '  Eclipse '  did  not 
take  part  in  the  young  sealing),  and  they  captured  about  4500 
'white-coats;'  there  were  also  twenty-one  Norwegians,  who 
secured  some  31,500  others,  in  addition  to  which  there  were  also 
about  4000  old  Seals  killed,  making  a  total  of,  say,  40,000  old 


and  young  Seals.  In  consequence  of  the  lateness  of  the  season 
the  young  Seals  were  in  very  fine  condition,  and  probably  sixteen 
days  old,  as  the  parents  generally  take  to  the  ice  about  March 
ySnd.  The  old  sealing,  later  in  the  season,  was  equally  bad.  The 
total  number  of  old  and  young  Seals  brought  in  from  the  Green- 
land and  Davis  Straits  fishery  was  7964,  against  32,302  in  the 
season  of  1885. 

I  regret  that  in  my  last  year's  notes  by  an  error  I  stated  that 
there  were  eighteen  Scotch  vessels  present  at  the  Greenland 
sealing :  this  was  the  total  number  both  at  Greenland  and  New- 
foundland. I  should  have  stated  that  ten  Scotch  vessels  took 
pai't  in  the  Greenland  and  Davis  Straits  sealing,  capturing 
26,448  Seals,  and  that  the  proceeds  of  5852  other  Seals 
were  brought  home  by  the  '  Germania '  from  a  station  in  the 
Cumberland  Gulf. 

At  Newfoundland  and  Greenland  together,  the  thirteen 
Scotch  sealers  last  season  killed  49,570  Seals  (against  103,574 
in  the  season  of  1885)  ;  these,  at  6s.  per  skin,  would  represent  a 
sum  of  ;£14,871,  and  the  yield  of  582  tons  of  oil,  at  £20  per  ton, 
a  further  sum  of  ^11,640;  gross  total,  s026,511,  against  an 
estimate  in  J  885  of  ^57,412,  a  sad  falling  off,  which  in  this 
branch  of  the  fishery  must  represent  a  considerable  loss  to  those 
engaged  in  it. 

In  the  article  "Seal  Fishery,"  in  the  21st  vol.  of  the 
'  Encyclopaedia  Britannica,'  p.  582,  are  some  remarks  with  regard 
to  what  is  there  termed  the  "Jan  Mayen  Seal  Fishery,"  which 
are  calculated  to  be  very  misleading.  It  is  stated  that  the 
British,  Norwegian,  Swedes,  Danes,  and  Germans,  all  take  part 
in  the  fishery,  and  that  the  number  of  Seals  taken  by  the 
British  vessels  "  about  equals  that  taken  by  all  the  others 
together."  If  by  the  "  Jan  Mayen  fishery"  the  author  means  the 
capture  of  young  Saddle  Seals  at  the  Greenland  west  ice,  this  is 
certainly  not  correct ;  the  foreign  vessels  at  present  greatly  out- 
number the  British,  and  the  number  of  Seals  taken  by  them  is  pro- 
portionately larger ;  it  will  be  seen  that  in  the  season  of  1886  the 
numbers  of  British  and  foreign  vessels  present  were  respectively 
three  of  the  former  and  twenty-one  of  the  latter,  and  for 
many  years  past  the  disparity  has  been  almost  equally  great. 
The  Norwegians,  who  did  not  commence  sealing  till  1845,  now 
outnumber  all  the   other  nationalities.      Previous  to  that  time 

THE    SEAL    AND    WHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  185 

there  were  more  Germans,  Danes,  and  Dutch,  than  there  are 
Norwegians  at  present.  The  author  is  also  incorrect  in  stating 
that  the  Scotch  steamers  are  chiefly  manned  by  Shetlanders.  It 
is  usual  for  the  whalers  to  complete  their  crews  at  Lerwick,  and 
last  season  the  '  Eclipse '  added  to  her  crew  of  forty  men  fifteen 
Shetlanders,  bringing  the  number  up  to  fifty-five,  and  this,  I 
believe,  is  about  the  usual  proportion.  Again,  although  it  is 
stated  that  a  close  time  has  been  established  in  the  "  Jan  Mayen 
fishery,"  the  writer  goes  on  to  say  that  "the  vessels  make  the  ice 
from  the  15th  to  the  20th  March,  and  commence  the  chase  in 
the  destructive  way  ah'eady  described."  The  way  "  already 
described"  happily  refers  to  what  has  since  1877  become  a  thing 
of  the  past;  in  that  year  the  close  time  came  into  operation, 
and  now,  within  an  area  included  between  the  parallels  of  67°  and 
75°  N.  latitude,  and  between  the  meridians  of  5°  East  and 
17°  West  longitude  from  the  meridian  of  Greenwich,  not  a  Seal 
is  killed  till  April  3rd.  That  date  is  still  believed  by  some  to 
be  too  early,  but  this  restriction  has  completely  revolutionised 
the  mode  of  sealing;  the  mother  Seals  are  no  longer  killed 
without  mercy  when  they  come  to  suckle  their  young,  and  the 
latter  left  '*  to  die  in  thousands  of  starvation."  As  a  matter  of 
fact,  it  is  the  young  "  white-coats "  which  are  now  so  much 
valued.  The  German  vessels  made  a  business  of  sealing  many 
years  before  the  English  took  any  decided  part  in  it,  the  latter 
only  picking  up  a  few  Seals  occasionally ;  but  about  the  com- 
mencement of  the  present  century  Seals  begin  to  figure  largely 
in  the  returns  of  the  British  ships.  It  was  not,  however,  till 
the  year  1840  that  the  port  of  Dundee  first  sent  out  sljips  to 
the  Greenland  sealing,  but  this  date  by  no  means  coincides 
with  the  commencement  of  the  Jan  Mayen  Seal  fishery  as  stated 
by  the  writer  in  the  '  Encyclopaedia  Britannica.' 

The  Davis  Straits  whaling  voyage  was  a  very  disastrous 
one.  On  April  5th,  during  a  most  terrific  gale,  the  '  Triune  ' 
was  forced  upon  a  reef  in  lat.  G6  N.,  where  she  remained  frozen 
up  till  the  18th,  when  she  was  released,  but  in  steaming  through 
the  ice-floe  she  received  a  very  severe  nip,  which  ultimately 
resulted  in  the  crew  being  compelled  to  abandon  her  oft'  Scott's 
Island  in  71  N.  lat.  on  the  16th  A-.igust.  At  the  same  time  and 
place  as  the  *  Triune,'  the  'Jan  Mayen'  was  also  caught  in  the 
squeeze,  and  sank  shortly  afterwards.     The  '  Star'  was  likewise 


lost  in  Cumberland  Gulf,  making,  with  the  '  Resolute '  before 
mentioned,  four  Dundee  vessels  which  fell  victims  to  the  "thick- 
ribbed  ice"  last  season.  Nor  was  this  all,  for  the  '  Catherine'  of 
Peterhead,  a  sailing  brig  of  190  tons,  after  various  adventures 
on  reefs  and  rocks,  was  finally  beached  and  abandoned  on  the 
30th  September  in  Cumberland  Gulf.  Fortunately  the  crews  in 
all  cases  were  rescued. 

In  the  Davis  Straits  plenty  of  Whales  are  reported  to  have 
been  seen  both  in  the  early  and  late  fishing ;  but  the  weather  was 
so  bad,  combined  with  heavy  seas  and  ice  floes  of  a  very 
dangerous  character,  that  fishing  was  impossible  ;  and  during  the 
summer  months,  when  the  best  fishing  is  usually  met  with,  the 
young  Whales  which,  as  a  rule,  ai-e  then  found  in  Lancaster 
Sound,  although  the  ships  were  through  Melville  Bay  in  good 
time  to  meet  them  in  passing,  were  altogether  absent,  having, 
it  is  conjectured,  taken  some  other  passage. 

The  Davis  Straits  and  Cumberland  Gulf  vessels,  ten  in 
number,  killed  nineteen  Whales.  These  are  said  to  have  yielded 
380  tons  of  oil,  and  290  cwt.  of  bone,  giving  an  average  of 
20  tons  of  oil  and  15  cwt.  of  bone  each,  a  very  high  average  for 
the  Straits  Whales,  which  is  probably  to  some  extent  accounted 
for  by  the  summer  fishing  of  the  young  Whales  being  a  failure, 
those  taken  being  in  consequence  all  adults.  Of  this  I  shall 
have  something  more  to  say  presently.* 

The  Seal  fishery  offering  no  temptation  for  an  early  start, 
and  consequent  greater  outlay  on  the  voyage,  Capt.  Gray,  of  the 
'  Eclipse,'  deferred  his  departure  from  Peterhead  until  April  20th, 
with  the  intention  of  devoting  his  energies  to  whaling  and 
shooting  old  Seals;  of  the  latter  he  obtained  700,  and  of  the 
former  7.  Of  the  incidents  of  this  voyage  some  account  has 
been  contributed  to  these  pages  by  Mr.  Robert  Gray  ;  there  is  no 
need,  therefore,  for  me  to  dwell  upon  this  part  of  the  subject. 
In  the  Greenland  Seas  the  'Eclipse'  and  'Erik'  from  Peterhead, 

■■•  The  disparity  between  the  quantities  of  bone  and  oil  as  stated  above  is 
certainly  too  gi-eat ;  there  is  always  a  remarkably  constant  proportion  of 
one  cwt.  of  bone  to  each  ton  of  oil,  and  this  holds  good  with  Whales  of 
all  sizes.  The  '  Traveller '  brought  home  from  Ciunberlaud  Gulf  some  Whale 
oil  which  had  been  left  out  last  season ;  but  in  addition  to  this  I  think  there 
must  be  some  inaccuracy  in  the  reported  quantity  of  oil ;  possibly  some  of 
the  White  Whale  oil  has  been  accidentally  entered  as  Whale  oil. 

THE    SEAL    AND    WHALE    PISHEEY    OF    1886.  187 

and  the  'Pole  Star'  from  Dundee,  captured  15  Whales,  yielding 
88  tons  of  oil,  and  80  cwt.  of  bone— the  Whales  averaging  just 
over  5|  tons  of  oil,  and  5^  cwt.  of  bone.  The  'Hope'  and 
'  Aurora,'  as  also  the  '  Earl  of  Mar  and  Kellie,'  which  paid  a  short 
visit  to  the  Greenland  whaling,  were  unsuccessful.  Fourteen  of 
the  above  Whales  were  taken  early  in  the  season,  and  in  about 
the  saine  locality,  the  remarkable  feature  about  them  being  their 
small  size. 

The  relative  size  of  the  Whales  taken  in  Davis  Straits  and 
Cumberland  Gulf,  compared  with  those  usually  taken  in  Green- 
land, has  in  the  past  season  been  quite  reversed.  A  large 
number  of  Davis  Straits  and  Cumberland  Gulf  Whales,  taken 
over  a  period  of  years,  produced  an  average  of  9|-  cwt.  of  bone 
each  ;  whereas  the  Greenland  Whales,  captured  during  the  same 
period,  yielded  11  cwt.  each;  but  in  the  past  season  the  averages 
have  been  15  and  5^  cwt.  respectively.* 

This  may  at  first  sight  appear  very  remarkable,  but  it  is  quite 
intelligible  to  those  acquainted  with  the  habits  and  seasonal 
distribution  of  these  creatures.  We  have  seen  that  the  Straits 
fishermen,  owing  to  circumstances  of  weather  and  ice,  missed  the 
young  Whales,  which  would  have  reduced  their  average  ;  whereas 
the  Greenland  fishermen  likewise,  from  force  of  circumstances, 
could  only  get  amongst  young  Whales  early  in  the  season;  and 
later  on,  owing  in  a  great  measure  to  the  ice  being  so  closely 
packed  and  its  edge  so  far  west,  they  missed  the  south  fishing 
altogether.  But  this  is  not  all :  from  long  experience  of  the 
habits  and  migration  of  the  Whales,  the  regularity  of  which 
is  remarkable,  the  Whalers  know  precisely  where  they  should  be 
found,  under  favourable  circumstances,  at  certain  definite  periods  ; 
and  not  only  so,  but  also  the  age  .and  size  which  may  be  expected. 
I  am  not  at  liberty  to  enter  more  fully  into  this  subject,  fearing 
to  commit  a  breach  of  confidence,  as  it  is  the  application  of 
accumulated  experience  on  such  points  which  enables  one  man 
to  succeed  in  capturing  Whales  when  a  less  accurate  observer 
would  fail ;  but  I  may  add — to  show  that  the  migratory  habits  of 

*  As  before  stated,  the  yield  of  bone  is  more  reliable  than  that  of  the 
oil  for  purposes  of  comparison  ;  I  therefore  prefer  to  give  that  of  the  bone 
only,  but  each  cwt.  of  the  latter  may  be  taken  as  representing  an  equivalent 
of  one  ton  of  the  former. 


the  Whales  have  not  changed — that  the  celebrated  capture  of 
forty-four  Whales,  by  Capt.  Suttar,  of  the  '  Resolution,'  in  1814, 
was  effected  in  the  same  latitude  as  produced  the  Greenland 
Whales  of  the  past  season.  Capt.  Suttar's  average  was  5  tons 
13  cwts. ;  and  fourteen  of  the  Greenland  Whales  last  season, 
taken  by  two  vessels  fishing  together  in  the  same  latitude  as 
Suttar's,  gave  precisely  the  same  average. 

It  is  difficult  to  say  what  is  the  value  of  commodities  which 
are  hardly  marketable;  but  at  ^20  per  ton  the  477  tons  of  oil 
brought  home  by  the  Dundee  and  Peterhead  vessels  would  be 
worth  ;£9540,  and  the  18^  tons  of  bone,  at  say  £1100  per  ton  all 
round,*  another  ;£90,350,  or  a  total  of  ^£29,890,  against  ^31,800 
in  the  season  of  1885. 

There  has  been  a  further  considerable  falling  off  in  the 
British  Bottle-nose  fishery,  only  23  Whales,  yielding  22  tons  of 
oil,  having  been  brought  in  against  84  killed  in  1885:  but 
I  am  informed  that  the  Norwegians  have  in  the  past  season 
killed  the  enormous  number  of  IGOO  or  1700  of  these  creatures, 
which  has  so  flooded  the  markets  of  London  and  Glasgow  with 
their  oil  that  it  has  been  sold  as  low  as  .£17  or  ^18  per  ton, — a 
circumstance  which  will  account  for  the  neglect  of  this  branch  of 
the  fishery  by  the  Scotch  vessels,  the  owners  of  which  not  many 
years  ago  realised  ^50  or  ;£60  per  ton  for  the  same  oil. 

Some  of  the  vessels  brought  home  very  miscellaneous 
cargoes — 1033  White  Whales,  320  Walruses,  and  many  Narwhals 
and  Bears — scarcity  of  "  big  game,"  I  presume,  rendering  the 
pursuit  of  such  small  deer  the  more  keen. 

During  his  voyage  to  the  Greenland  fishery,  when  in  lat. 
70°  N.  16°  W.,  or  about  half-way  between  Jan  Mayen  and 
Greenland,  Capt.  Fairweather,  of  the  '  Aurora,'  reports  a 
singular  phenomenon.  On  August  16th,  about  mid-day,  his 
vessel  received  a  sudden  shock,  caused  by  what  he  considers 
must  have  been  an  earth-  (or  sea-)  quake.  The  "  sensations,"  he 
says,  "  felt  by  those  on  board  were  as  if  the  ship  were  moving 

*  Some  "size-bone"  {i.e.,  bone  the  slips  of  which  are  six  feet  and 
uxDwards  in  length)  has  recently  been  sold  at  ^1550  per  ton  ;  but  as  the 
"  undersize  "  bone  produces  only  half  the  price  of  the  "  size,"  the  price  for  the 
average  is  largely  reduced.  This  must  have  been  particularly  the  case  in  the 
past  season,  many  of  the  Whales  being  very  small,  and  the  proportion  of 
undersize  bone  being  consequently  unusually  large. 


over  a  rocky  bottom  with  great  velocity."  The  officers  and  crew 
immediately  rushed  on  deck,  thinking  a  boiler  had  burst,  or  that 
the  ship  had  gone  aground,  but  the  boilers  were  all  right,  and  the 
lead  failed  to  find  bottom  at  100  fathoms.  The  weather  was 
foggy,  with  slight  rain  and  wind  from  E.S.E.  ;  no  upheaval  of 
the  water  was  noticed,  the  sea  being  unusually  calm.  About  two 
hours  later,  a  second  but  much  lighter  shock  was  experienced, 
which,  however,  only  caused  the  vessel  to  tremble. 



Change  of  Habits  in  the  Brown  Rat.— The  way  in  which  animals 
change  their  habits  and  mode  of  life  in  adapting  themselves  to  new  or 
altered  conditions  of  existence  is  very  remarkable.  In  some  cases  doubtless 
the  change  is  so  gradual  that  it  is  not  detected  for  a  long  time,  but  in  others 
a  divergence  of  habit  under  exceptional  circumstances  is  so  marked  that  it 
at  once  strikes  the  observer  as  noteworthy.  Some  years  ago  the  Rev.  J.  S. 
Whitmee,  then  resident  in  the  Samoan  Islands,  noticed  a  remarkable  change 
of  habits  in  that  curious  bird  the  so-called  "Little  Dodo,"  Didunculus  strigi- 
rostris,  which,  from  being  almost  entirely  terrestrial  in  its  habits,  and 
breeding  also  on  the  ground,  became  gradually  arboreal,  roosting  and  nesting 
iu  trees,  to  escape  the  destruction  which  threatened  it  from  attacks  by  cats, 
dogs,  rats,  and  pigs,  which  had  been  introduced  by  the  colonists  [cf.  Proc.  Zool. 
Soc.  1875,  p.  495).  The  Rat  itself,  so  active  a  destroyer  of  life,  has  likewise 
had  to  alter  its  habits  continually  in  its  struggle  for  existence  under  adverse 
conditions  in  New  Zealand.  Capt.  Johnstone,  of  Te  Haroto,  Raglan,  New 
Zealand,  referring  to  Mus  decumanus,  in  a  letter  to  Capt.  Hutton,  subse 
quently  communicated  to  the  Auckland  Institute  (Proc.  N.  Z.  Inst.  1870, 
p.  47),  writes  as  follows: — "At  this  season  of  the  year  [June]  there  is  a 
sort  of  annual  migration  of  Rats,  where  there  are  uncultivated  lands  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  houses.  This  year  the  migration  is  ■  excessive,  both 
iu  the  country  and  in  the  village  of  Raglan.  The  habits  of  the  Rat 
have  greatly  changed  since  its  introduction.  It  is  amphibious.  At  low 
water  they  go  to  eat  shell-fish  on  a  rock  near  here,  and  when  the  tide  rises 
swim  back  to  the  land.  They  have  almost  extirpated  the  delicious  little 
crayfish  (Paranephrops),  which  twen'y  years  ago  were,  as  I  well  remember, 
plentiful  in  my  creek.  Even  the  fresh-water  mussels  (Unio)  are  not  safe 
from  them,  as  they  dive  for  them  and  open  them  on  the  bank.  The  climate 
is  wet  and  the  ground  hard,  so  instead  of  burrows  they  make  nests  iu  trees 


and  hedges.  Some  time  ago  Mr.  J.  Graham,  of  Raglan,  showed  me  a 
perfect  '  rattery '  in  a  tliorn-hedge  in  the  village.  There  were  from  fifteen 
to  twenty  large  nests,  into  which  it  was  necessary  to  insert  a  pitchfork  to 
eject  the  occupants,  in  order  to  show  that  they  were  not  birds'  nests." 
The  habit  of  feeding  iipon  Crustacea  is  confirmed  by  another  observer  in 
New  Zealand,  who  writes: — "Wild  Ducks  were  particularly  numerous  in 
this  district  (Lake  Taupo,  North  Island)  on  my  arrival  here  :  you  saw  them 
by  dozens — you  hardly  see  them  now  by  twos.  I  have  no  doubt  we  owe  this 
to  the  Norway  Rat.  There  is  a  place  on  the  Waikato  River,  some  twenty 
miles  below  Taupo,  where  the  chiefs  occasionally  assembled  to  act  out  two 
important  matters — to  discuss  politics  and  eat  kouras  (crayfish).  A  few 
years  after  the  Norway  Rat  fully  appeared,  the  kouras  were  no  longer 
plentiful,  and  as  the  New  Testament  made  Maori  politics  rather  unnecessary, 
the  usage  of  meeting  no  longer  exists.  The  natives  assured  me  that  the 
Norway  Rat  caught  the  crayfish  by  diving.  Rowing  up  the  rivers  you  see 
the  little  deposits  of  shells.  Upon  enquiry  I  found  they  were  the  selections 
of  the  Norway  Rat,  who,  by  diving  for  these  fresh-water  2>iTpiSi  provide  a 
Idnaki  (relish)  for  their  vegetable  suppers."  I  have  elsewhere  commented 
upon  the  observed  fact  that  Rats  will  greedily  devour  snails,  and  in  this 
way  may  do  some  good  in  gardens  where  snails  are  numerous  ('  Rambles  in 
search  of  Shells,'  1875,  pp.  73,  74).  In  the  case  referred  to,  however,  they 
were  apparently  impelled  to  this  change  of  diet  from  necessity  rather  than 
from  choice,  tlie  Rats  in  question  belonging  to  a  colony  which  had  taken  up 
their  quarters  in  some  new  houses  while  in  course  of  erection,  where  there 
were  no  larders  to  visit.  They  were  observed  to  climb  the  hollyhocks  in 
the  garden,  clear  off  several  snails,  bring  them  down  in  one  paw,  like  an 
armful,  and  run  with  them  on  three  legs  to  their  holes. — J.  E.  Habtinq. 

Marten  Cat  in  Breconshire. — This  animal  is  so  rare  in  Wales  at  the 
present  time  that  it  may  be  worth  while  noting  that  one  was  seen  in  a 
large  wood  near  this  town  in  September  last.  Attention  was  drawn  to  it 
by  the  noise  made  by  five  or  six  Jays,  who  were  evidently  mobbing  some- 
thing, and  my  informant,  who  got  within  twenty  yards  of  it,  described  it 
so  minutely  to  me  as  to  leave  no  doubt  in  my  mind  as  to  its  identity.  In 
past  years  the  Marten  was  common  here,  and  I  know  of  four  stuffed 
specimens  killed  in  this  county  within  the  last  thirty  years,  and  doubtless 
many  others  have  been  unrecorded.  I  have  also  the  very  much  torn  skin 
of  a  Marten  killed  some  twenty  years  by  the  late  Mr.  Gwynne  Vaughan's 
hounds  near  Llanwrtyd,  in  this  county.  The  old  rough  Welsh  hound 
hunts  it  with  great  keenness  and  determination,  and  in  former  years  it  was 
its  legitimate  quarry. — E.  Cambbidge  Phillips  (Brecon,  S.  Wales). 

Common  Rorqual  at  Skegness. — Seeing  the  usual  announcement  of  a 
"  Greenland  Whale  "  having  been   stranded   at  Skegness  on  April  3rd,  I 


wrote  to  Mr.  Storr  of  that  town,  who  was  mainly  instrumental  in  its 
capture,  and  from  his  replies,  thinking  it  possible  the  animal  might  be 
BalcBHoptera  horealis,  I  took  an  early  opportunity  of  visiting  Skegness,  and 
was  somewhat  disappointed  at  seeing  on  the  beach  a  young  female  of  the 
Common  Rorqual  or  "  Razorback,"  Balmioptera  musculus.  The  animal 
measured  47  ft.  in  length,  and  the  only  remarkable  feature  about  it  was 
the  unusually  light  colour  of  the  baleen,  which  showed  much  less  of  the 
characteristic  slate  colour  veined  with  darker  and  lighter  shades  of  the  same 
than  in  any  specimen  of  this  species  which  I  have  seen.  This  may  have 
been  owing  either  to  the  juvenility  of  the  animal,  which  was  little  more 
than  two-thirds  grown,  or  it  may  have  been  sexual,  or  even  the  result  of 
individual  variation.  There  seems  to  have  been  the  usual  misunder- 
standing with  the  authorities,  who  claimed  the  whale  on  behalf  of  the 
Crown,  but  it  was  eventually  handed  over  to  its  captors,  who,  after 
exhibiting  it  during  the  Easter  holidays,  sold  it  by  auction  for  thirty 
guineas. — T.  Southwell  (Norwich). 

[We  learn  from  another  correspondent,  Mr.  Degen,  who  personally 
examined  it,  that,  being  half  buried  in  soft  sand  and  ooze,  it  was  impossible 
to  take  all  the  measurements  that  were  desirable.  He  could  only  ascertain 
that  the  extreme  length  was  47  ft.,  the  length  from  centre  of  dorsal  fin  to 
end  of  tail  13  ft.,  width  of  tail  8  ft.,  and  circumference  at  dorsal  fin  11  ft. 
8  in.  He  arrived  at  the  same  conclusion  as  did  Mr.  Southwell,  namely, 
that  it  was  an  immature  female  of  Balanoptera  musculus. — Ed.] 

The  West  India  Seal.— It  will  probably  be  of  interest  to  the  zoological 

portion  of  your  readers  to  learn  of  the  re-discovery — or  the  full  discovery 

of  the  West  Indian  Seal,  Monachus  tropicalis.  The  history  of  this  pinniped 
is  in  brief  as  follows  : — It  was  noticed  by  Columbus  in  his  account  of  his 
second  voyage  (1494)  as  having  been  found  in  some  numbers  on  the  rocky 
isle  of  Alta  Vela,  off  the  southern  shore  of  Hispauiola,  where  his  sailors 
killed  eight  of  them  for  food.  Later— in  1675— Dampier  found  this  Seal 
in  abundance  on  the  Alacram  reefs,  about  eighty  miles  north  of  Yucatan. 
At  that  time  it  was  killed  there  in  great  numbers  for  its  oil.  The  Seal  then 
remained  unnoticed  for  over  a  century  and  a  half,  having  no  place  whatever 
in  the  writings  of  zoologists  until  1843.  Then  Mr.  Richard  Hill  published 
an  account  of  it  in  the  'Jamaica  Almanac,'  calling  it  the  Pedro  Seal,  from 
the  Pedro  Keys,  sonae  sixty  miles  south  of  Kingston,  Jamaica,  where  he  had 
found  it.  A  few  years  later  Mr.  P.  H.  Gosse  obtained  an  imperfect  skin 
(without  skull),  which  he  sent  to  the  British  Museum,  where  it  was  described 
by  Dr.  Gray  in  the  '  Proceedings  of  the  Zoological  Society  of  London,' 
1849.  Dr.  Gray  gave  it  then  no  name,  probably  by  reason  of  its  imperfect 
characters.  Later— in  1850— ('  Catalogue  of  Mammals  in  the  British 
Museum ')  he  described  the  same  specimen  as  Phoca  tropicalis,  and  after- 
wards ('  Catalogue  of  Seals  and  Whales,'  1866)  as  Monachus  tropicalis.    But 


SO  imperfect  was  the  specimen  on  which  the  description  was  founded,  and 
the  animal  itself  was  so  little  known,  that  even  its  generic  relations  were  in 
doubt,  and  its  reference  to  the  genus  Monachus  was  considered  provisional. 
From  thence  on  to  the  present,  rumours  of  the  existence  of  this  Seal  have 
been  not  infrequent,  but  nothing  seemed  trustworthy  and  positive,  and  no 
specimens  were  obtained,  if  we  except  a  young  skin,  without  bones  or  skull, 
which  came  from  Cuba  to  the  National  Museum  at  Washington,  in  1884, 
without  any  indication  as  to  locality.  It  has  long  seemed  to  the  writer,  as 
doubtless  to  many  others,  that  the  certain  presence  in  our  [i.  e.  American] 
waters  of  so  important  a  mammal  lying  jJerdu  in  regions  which  our  naturalist 
collectors  are  yearly  visiting,  was  the  opprobrium  of  American  zoologists. 
We  made  inquiries  and  collected  notes  from  many  sources,  which  showed 
clearly  that  this  Seal  existed  at  isolated  points — on  small  islands  and  keys — 
not  only  in  the  Caribbean  and  among  the  Bahamas,  but  also  in  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico.  Last  summer,  while  on  a  visit  to  the  western  shore  of  the  Gulf 
of  Mexico,  we  were  so  fortunate  as  to  "locate"  this  seal  with  much 
certainty.  This  was  upon  the  Triangles  (Los  Triangulos),  three  little 
keys,  hardly  above  the  water-level  at  high  tide,  and  lying  some  100  miles 
north-west  off  the  CamjDeachy  coast,  in  latitude  N.  20°  50',  and  longitude 
W.  92°  10'.  Following  this  clue,  my  son,  Mr.  Henry  L.  Ward,  last 
December  visited  the  Triangles  in  company  with  Senor  F.  Ferrari  Perez, 
naturalist  of  the  Mexican  Geographical  and  Exploring  Expedition.  His 
hunt  was  highly  successful,  and  he  has  during  the  present  month  returned 
with  nearly  twenty  specimens — skeletons  and  skins  of  all  ages,  from  a 
suckling  to  the  fully  adult  male,  seven  feet  in  length.  This  ample  material 
has  just  been  carefully  studied  by  Prof.  J.  A.  Allen,  the  well-known  zoologist, 
and  author  of  a  '  Monograph  of  North  American  Pinnipeds.'  Prof.  Allen 
has  given  a  preliminary  notice  of  the  specimens  in  '  Science,'  January  14, 
1887,  and  promises  an  elaborate  account,  with  plates,  in  an  early  issue  of 
the  Bulletin  of  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  New  York.  It 
is  a  fact  of  rather  peculiar  interest  that  this,  the  first  large  mammal  ever 
discovered  in  x\merica,  should,  by  the  strange  mishaps  of  natural-history 
collecting,  be  the  very  last  one  to  become  known  satisfactorily  to  science. — 
Henry  A.  Ward  (Rochester,  New  York). — In  '  Nature.' 

[A  second  communication  on  the  subject,  from  Mr.  Allen,  appeared  in 
'Science,'  Jan.  21,  1887.  Mr.  Ward  is  mistaken  in  supposing  that  the 
skin  of  the  Seal,  which  came  from  Cuba  to  the  National  Museum  at 
Washington  in  October,  1883  (not  1884,  as  above  stated),  was  without 
bones  or  skull.  It  contained  the  skull  and  the  bones  of  the  fore  and  hind 
flippers,  and  these  have  been  described  (with  three  figures  of  the  skull) 
by  Messrs.  Trew  and  Lucas  in  the  Smithsonian  Report  for  1884,  pt.  ii. 
pp.  331-3^5.— Ed.] 

NOTES    AND    (QUERIES.  19^^ 

B  I  K  D  S  . 

Reported  occurrence  of  Emberiza  melariocephala  in  Scotland. — 
When  visiting  the  Crystal  Palace  Bird  Show  on  February  15tli,  I  was 
surprised  to  find  that,  in  Class  66,  the  first  prize  had  been  won  l)y 
No.  1317,  a  male  Black-headed  Bunting,  Emberiza  melamcephala ,  in 
winter  dress.  On  enquiry  its  owner,  Mr.  T.  Crossley,  of  Kendal,  wrote  to 
me  at  some  length  regarding  the  bird,  which  "  was  caught  near  Dumt'erm- 
line,  on  or  about  the  5th  of  November  last,  while  flying  in  company  with 
some  Snow  Buntings."  Mr.  Crossley  subsequently  informed  me  that  he 
purchased  the  bird  from  a  dealer  while  on  a  visit  to  Scotland  on  the  8rd  of 
January.  Mr.  Crossley  amusingly  maintains  that  his  specimen  is  au 
immature  Ortolan.  He  has  no  doubt  as  to  its  capture  as  above  stated. — 
H.  A.  Macpherso.n. 

[See  a  note  on  the  occurrence  of  this  species  in  Nottinghamshire  (Zool. 
1886,  p.  73),  and  its  previous  occurrence  near  Brighton  (Ibis,  1869,  p.  1"28). 
Since  described  and  figured  in  the  4tli  edition  of  Yarrell's  '  British  Birds,' 
vol.  ii.  p.  64. — Ed.). 

Albino  Birds  in  Co.  Wicklow. — Mr.  J.  R.  Fitzgerald's  note  on  albino 
birds  (p.  110)  reminds  me  of  some  curious  albinos  which  have  occurred 
about  here.  Two,  a  Jackdaw  and  a  Blackbird,  are  in  the  possession  of 
Mr.  D.  M'Kellar.  The  Jackdaw  is  of  an  uniform  creamy  white,  except 
the  top  of  the  head,  which  is  grey.  It  is  a  young  bird  of  the  first  year, 
and  was  shot  near  Carnew,  in  December,  1883.  It  came  from  a  nest  in 
one  of  the  houses  of  that  village,  and  had  the  white  plumage  from  a 
nestling,  having  been  frequently  seen  before  it  was  shot.  The  albino  type 
is,  I  think,  not  so  common  among  Jackdaws  as  among  many  other  species. 
The  Blackbird  is  a  very  curious  and  beautiful  specimen,  white,  lightly 
tinged  with  shades  of  buff  and  pale  brown.  It  was  shot  near  Shillelagh  in 
February,  1886.  In  November  last,  on  Slievebuidhe  Hill,  a  Magpie  was 
seen  which  was  all  white,  except  a  black  collar  round  the  neck,  extending 
into  a  large  patch  on  the  shoulders,  and  some  black  spots  on  the  wings.  It 
was  in  company  with  two  other  Magpies  of  the  ordinary  type.  Some  years 
ago  a  white-winged  Wren  frequented  the  roadside  near  Park  ;  and  a  cream- 
coloured  Sparrow  was  seen  in  the  village  of  Shillelagh. ^Allan  Ellison 
(Shillelagh,  Co.  Wicklow). 

Wood  Pigeons  casting  up  Pellets. — When  hawking  in  Cambridge- 
shire, on  December  15th,  I  went  from  the  open  land  through  a  wood 
frequented  (at  that  season)  by  hundreds  of  Wood  Pigeons.  Among  their 
droppings  I  saw  some  oval-shaped  "castings,"  about  an  inch  in  length. 
I  have  noted  this  in  the  Shrikes,  Rooks,  iuid  Swallows,  but  never  in  this 
form  in  the  Pigeon.     I  am  aware  of  the  manner  they  feed  their  young,  but 

ZOOLOGIST. — MAY,  1887.  Q 


1  must  say  1  was  ignorant  of  the  fact  of  Pigeons  ejecting  castings  such  as 
1  found  composed  of  husks  of  bailey  and  beech-nuts,  grass,  or  clover,  and 
small  stones. — T.  J.  Mann  (The  Grange,  Bishop's  Stortford). 

Blackbird  laying  in  Thrush's  Nest.  —  Whilst  rambling  over  the 
Sewage  Farm,  during  April  last,  I  observed  a  Blackbird  fly  from  a  holly- 
bush,  and,  thinking  it  might  have  a  nest,  I  went  to  see,  and  to  my  great 
surprise  found  that  the  Blackbird  had  laid  four  eggs  in  a  Thrush's  nest, 
which  I  suppose  the  Thrush  must  have  deserted.  On  my  telling  Mr. 
Thomas,  who  owns  the  adjoining  land,  of  the  occurrence,  he  said  that  a 
similar  case  was  observed  by  one  of  his  sons  near  the  same  place  during 
the  previous  year.  Mr.  Wm.  Storey  tells  me  that  an  instance  of  the  above 
has  come  under  his  notice  in  Nidderdale. — F.  R,.  Fitzgerald  (Harrogate). 

The  Ptarmigan  in  South-West  Scotland.— The  remarks  of  Mr. 
Service  regarding  local  specimens  of  Laijopus  iinitus  in  the  Museum  at 
Dumfries  remind  me  that  one  or  more  specimens  exist  in  the  Carlisle 
Museum.  1  therefore  wrote  to  Mr.  W.  Duckworth,  suggesting  that  the 
Carlisle  birds  were  probably  from  Dumfriesshire,  and  asking  him  to  refer 
to  the  old  Museum  Catalogue,  with  a  view,  if  possible,  to  trace  their  history. 
This  he  has  kindly  done,  and  finds  that  three  specimens  of  L.  mutus  (two  in 
summer  and  one  in  winter  dress)  were  included  in  a  series  of  birds  presented 
many  years  ago  by  Mr.  J.  D.  Murray,  of  Murray tliwaite,  Dumfriessh  re. 
In  all  probability  these  were  local  birds  :  at  least  the  presumption  is  favoured 
by  the  facts  which  Mr.  Service  has  recently  set  forth  in  connection  with  his 
own  district. — H.  A.  Macpherson. 

Woodcock  and  Pheasant  laying  in  the  same  Nest. — 'Hi  the  12th 
April  last  I  was  taken  to  see  a  Woodcock's  nest,  about  two  miles  from  my 
house.  Tiiere  had  been  four  ejjgs,  but  one  was  broken  to  pieces,  and 
another  had  a  hole  in  i*.  In  the  same  nest  with  these  were  two  Pheasant's 
eggs.  The  Woodcock's  eggs  had  been  laid  some  time,  but  were  only 
slightly  incubated.  I  suppose  the  Pheasant  had  turned  the  Woodcock  out, 
but  the  keeper  stated  that  two  days  afterwaids  he  saw  the  Woodcock  silting 
on  tlie  two  Pheasant's  eggs.  From  this  it  would  seem  that  the  Pheasant 
had  deserted  and  the  Woodcock  had  gone  back  to  the  nest.  On  April 
16th  the  two  eggs  were  found  to  iiave  been  sucked  by  a  Jay. — F.  H.  Birley 
(Doi  man's  Land,  East  Grinsteadj. 

House  Martins  nesting  in  October.— A  pair  of  Martins,  Chelidon 
urbica,  built  their  nest  at  the  Harrogate  Hotel,  Starbeck,  and  successfully 
reared  their  young,  in  the  latter  end  of  October,  1884.  The  old  birds  were 
observed  feeding  their  young  during  a  blinding  snow-storm.  Last  year 
Mr.  William  Storey,  of  Pateley,  observed  on  October  8lh  a  nest  of  the 
House    Martin   containing  four  young.       The  last  Swallows   observed  in 

NOTKS    AND    QUERIES.  195 

this  district  (so  far  as  I  am  aware)  was  on  October  25th,  when  Mr.  Rowling 
saw  one  in  High  Harrogate,  and  I  observed  three  in  Low  Harrogate. — 
F.  R.  Fitzgerald  (Harrogate). 

The  Green-backed  Porphyrio  (Porphyrio  chloronotus).— I  should  be 
much  obliged  if  any  correspondent,  who  may  happen  to  know  its  where- 
abouts, will  say  where  a  Porphyrio,  shot  at  Grange  in  Furness,  Lancashire, 
on  September  25th,  1876,  now  is.  It  was  recorded  in  '  The  Zoologist '  by 
Mr.  Harting  (1877,  p.  228),  and  by  Mr.  E.  T.  Baldwin,  p.  381.  Robert 
Allen,  the  keeper  who  shot  it,  died  in  America  last  May,  and  it  is  possible 
that  he  took  the  bird  to  America  with  him,  but  it  is  much  more  likely,  I 
think,  that  he  sold  it  to  some  collector  before  crossing  the  Atlantic.  About 
ten  days  before  this  bird  was  killed  a  Green-backed  Porphyrio,  showing  no 
trace  of  confinement,  and  now  in  Mr.  J.  G.  Millais's  collection,  was  shot 
at  Eriol,  in  Perthshire  (Drummond  Hay,  'Scottish  Naturalist,'  1877, 
p.  37j;  while  about  fifteen  days  afterwards  a  third  was  killed  in  Norfolk 
(Zool.  1877,  pp.  96,  228).  These  facts  point  to  wild  migrants,  and  not  to 
prisoners  escaped  from  any  aviary,  especially  as  it  was  just  the  migratory 
season,  and  the  three  localities  are  so  far  apart,  assuming  that  the 
Lancashire  bird  was  the  green-backed  species,  which  is  what  I  wish  to 
ascertain.  Unfortunately  that  cannot  now  be  proved,  unless  the  specimen 
can  be  examined.  Two  of  the  witnesses  who  saw  it  think  its  back  was 
green,  and  two  others  think  it  was  blue.  The  Green-backed  Porphyrio 
apparently  has  a  good  claim  to  be  considered  a  visitant  to  the  South  of 
Europe.  Mr.  Dresser  says,  on  the  authority  of  Baron  vou  Miiller,  that 
six  were  caught  at  once  in  the  South  of  France  ('  Birds  of  Europe,'  vol.  vii. 
p.  303);  and  I  learn  from  Prof.  Giglioli  that  in  the  autumn  of  1865  four 
were  taken  at  Messina,  and  that,  including  these,  there  are  twelve  well- 
authenticated  instances  of  its  capture  in  Italy,  Sicily,  and  Sardinia.  Of 
some  of  these  he  has  given  particulars  f'  The  Ibis,'  1881,  p.  211),  but  does 
not  suggest  that  they  may  have  escaped  from  confinement. — J.  H.  Gurney, 
JuN.  (Keswick  Hall,  Norwich). 

White-eyed  Pochard  and  Bewick's  Swan  in  Norfolk. — An  adult  male 
White-eyed  Pochard  [Anas  nyrocci)  was  shot  at  Potter  Heigham  on  Dec. 
29th  ult. ;  it  was  flying  singly  down  the  river.  Three  Bewick  Swans  were 
shot  here  (at  Heigham)  last  winter.  —  M.  C.  H.  Bird  (West  Rudham, 
Swaffham,  Norfolk). 

The  Sheldrake  or  "  Bar-goose  "  on  the  Essex  Coast. — This  bird  is 
still  called  "Bur-goose"  by  Essex  shore-slioolers  and  puut-gunueis.  It 
appears  to  be  a  late  breeder.  One  killed  off  Canvey  Island  a  few  years 
ago  on  May  9th  had  no  down  off  the  breast,  although  the  feathers  there 
were  dirty,  as  if  she  had  been  burrowing,  and  the  most  fully-developed  egg 
in  the  ovary  was  not  so  large  as  a  pea.     I  have  not  heard  the  term  "  Bar- 


gander  "  applied  to  the  male,  but  both  sexes  are  indiscriminately  spoken  of 
in  Essex  as  "  Bar-geese." — M.  C.  H.  Bird  (West  Rudham,  Swaffham, 

Harlequin  Duck  on  the  Northumbrian  Coast.— The  editorial  note 
(p.  159)  under  a  notice  of  the  exhibition  of  a  Harlequin  Duck  before  the 
Zoological  Society  by  Mr.  H.  Saunders  has  a  tendency  to  mislead,  as  any 
one  referring  to  that  notice  would  naturally  conclude  that  the  bird  exhibited 
was  the  Rev.  Julian  Tuck's  specimen,  which  was  not  the  case.  It  was  the 
companion  bird  which  1  had  received,  and  which  is  now  in  my  collection. 
To  obviate  any  confusion  which  might  arise  at  a  future  date  in  tracing  the 
destination  of  the  two  specimens  which  were  obtained,  I  should  feel  obliged 
if  you  will  allow  me  to  state  that  I  possess  the  specimen  which  was 
exhibited  by  Mr.  H.  Saunders. — Robert  W.  Chase  (Edgbaston). 

It  may  be  well  to  point  out  that  the  young  Harlequin  drake  exhibited 
by  Mr.  Saunders  at  the  second  March  meeting  of  the  Zoological  Society 
(Zool.  p.  159)  was  not  my  specimen  recorded  on  p.  70,  but  its  companion 
in  misfortune.  The  two  must,  I  suppose,  be  "  bracketed  second "  as 
British  examples.  I  forwarded  the  body  of  the  one  I  received  to  Professor 
Newton,  and  at  his  request  tlie  trachea  has  been  prepared  for  the  Cambridge 
Museum. — Juuan  Tuck  (St.  Mary's,  Bucknall,  Stoke-on-Trent). 

Paired  Varieties  of  the  Jackdaw. — A  pair  of  Jackdaws  are  at  present 
nesting  in  one  of  the  old  trees  close  to  my  house.  I  see  them  frequently 
on  the  lawn  and  in  the  field  near.  Both  these  birds  are  exactly  alikt^,  and 
have  the  whole  of  the  wings  and  tail  of  a  dull  mottled  yellowish  brown 
colour,  much  like  that  of  a  hen  Pheasant.  The  remarkable  point  in  this  is 
that  both  the  pair  should  thus  vary.  Probably  they  are  the  produce  of 
some  one  brood  of  a  former  season? — 0.  P.  Cambridge  (Bloxworth,  near 

Black  Redstart  in  Co.  Waterford.  —I  have  to  record  the  occurrence 
here  of  a  young  male  of  this  species  on  the  4tli  November,  1886.  The 
specimens  of  this  bird  captured  in  Ireland  have,  I  believe,  occurred  on  the 
sea  coast,  or  at  a  short  distance  inland.  Coolfin  is  about  ten  miles  from 
the  nearest  sea.  Like  the  bird  mentioned  by  Lord  Clermont  (Zool.  1884, 
p.  78),  this  little  straggler  was  engaged  in  capturing  flies  at  my  bed-room 
window.— William  W^  Flkmtng  (Coolfin  House,  Portlaw,  Co.  Waterford). 


Cyclopterus  lumpus  at  Scilly. — I  have  received  (April  l-2th)  from 
St.  Mary's,  Scilly,  a  Lunipsucker,  Cijdopterus  lumpus.  It  is  a  male  of 
unusual  size,  being  as  largo  as  the  ordinary  female.  The  belly  and  lower 
sides  are  bright  crimson,  the  back  is  of  llit-  usual  (kill  leaden  blue;    but 

NOTES    AND    QUKRIES.  197 

the  remarkable  thing  about  the  fish  is  its  sucker.  Instead  of  being  attacheii 
to  the  pectorals  it  was  distinctly  detached,  and  (although  the  fish  was  quite 
fresh  when  it  was  brought  to  me)  the  sucker  was  hard  and  apparently 
useless  for  the  purpose  of  adherence.  The  fish  being  in  good  condition, 
the  state  of  the  sucker  could  not  be  attributed  to  disease.  It  may  possibly 
have  been  the  result  of  age,  but  I  have  seen  the  male  of  this  species  so 
rarely  that  on  this  point  I  am  not  able  to  offer  an  opinion.  Since  writing  the 
above,  another  very  large  male  Lumpsucker  has  been  taken  (April  14th); 
this  time  in  Penzance  Bay  in  a  trammel,  in  about  twelve  fathoms  of  water. 
It  measures  sixteen  inches  in  length,  and  has  the  same  peculiarity  about 
the  sucker  which  I  noted  in  the  other.  It  was  alive  when  I  received  it.— 
Thomas  Cornish  (Penzance). 

Scarcity  of  the  Black-veined  White.— In  an  article  in  the  '  Ento- 
mologist's Monthly  Magazine'  for  March,  Mr.  Herbert  Goss  raises  the 
question  whether  Aporia  cratcEC/i  is  dying  out  in  this  country.  At  one  time 
this  butterfly  was  common  in  Kent,  Sussex,  Hampshire,  Huntingdonshire, 
Northamptonshire,  Herefordshire,  ]\lonmouthshire,  and  Glamorganshire. 
Now  it  has  disappeared,  apparently,  from  all  these  counties.  Mr.  Goss  does 
not  think  that  this  can  be  attributed  to  the  rapacity  of  collectors,  and  he 
holds  that  it  can  be  accounted  for  only  in  some  localities  by  cultivation  and 
drainage.  It  seems  to  him  more  probable  that  the  extreme  acarcity  or  total 
extinction  of  the  Black-veined  White  may  be  due  to  a  succession  of  wet 
ungenial  summers  and  mild  winters. 


Zoological  Society  of  London. 

April  5,  1887.-Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President,  in 
the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  leport  on  tlie  additions  that  had  been  made  to 
the  Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  March,  1887,  and  called 
-special  attention  to  two  Long-tailed  Grass-Finches,  Foephila  acuticamla, 
from  N.W.  Australia,  presented  by  Mr.  Walter  Burton  ;  nnd  to  a  Fisk's 
Snake,  Boodou jisldi,  and  a  Narrow-headed  Toad,  Biifo  anr/iisticeps,  from 
South  Africa,  presented  by  the  Rev.  G.  H.  R.  Fisk. 

Mr.  F.  Day  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  specimen  of  a  Mediter- 
ranean fish,  ScorpcEim  scrofa,  taken  by  a  trawler  off  Brixliam  early  in 
March  last,  and  new  to  the  British  Fauna. 

Mr.  J.  H.  Leech   exhibited   some  specimens   of  new  Butterflies  from 


Japan  and  Corea.  and  gave  a  short  account  of  his  recent  journeys  to  those 
countries  in  quest  of  Lepidoptera. 

The  Secretary  read  a  letter  addressed  to  him  by  the  Rev.  G.  H.  R.  Fisk, 
of  the  Cape  Colony,  respecting  the  killing  and  eating,  by  a  Shrew,  of  a  young 
venomous  Snake,  Sepedon  hminachates. 

Prof.  Flower  communicated,  on  behalf  of  Messrs.  J.  H.  Scott  and  T. 
Jeffery  Parker,  of  the  University  of  Otago,  New  Zealand,  a  paper  containing 
notes  on  a  specimen  of  a  young  female  Ziphius,  which  was  cast  ashore  alive 
at  Warrington,  north  of  Dunedin,  New  Zealand,  in  November,  1884. 

Mr.  Richard  S.  Wray  read  a  paper  ou  the  morphology  of  tlie  wings  of 
birds,  in  which  a  description  was  given  of  a  typical  wing,  and  the  main 
moditications  which  are  found  in  other  forms  of  wings  were  pointed  out. 
One  of  the  principal  points  adverted  to  was  the  absence,  in  nearly  half  the 
class  of  birds,  of  the  fifth  cubital  remex,  its  coverts  only  being  developed. 
The  peculiar  structure  of  the  wings  in  the  Ratiti/'  and  the  Sphenisci  was 
also  commented  upon. 

A  communication  was  read  from  the  Rev.  H.  S.  Gorham  on  the  classifi- 
cation of  the  Coleoptera  of  the  division  Languriides.  The  author  pointed 
out  the  characters  which,  in  his  opinion,  were  available  for  the  systematic 
arrangement  of  this  family  of  Coleoptera,  and  for  its  division  into  genera. 
The  subject  had  hitherto  not  received  the  attention  it  deserved,  and  several 
errors  had  gained  currency,  owing  to  the  hasty  and  insufficient  way  in 
which  the  structure  of  these  insects  had  been  examined.  He  added  an 
analytical  table  of  about  forty  genera,  many  of  tiiose  proposed  being  new. 
Further  notice  of  the  American  genera  would  soon  appear  in  Messrs. 
Godman  and  Salvin's  '  Biologia  Centrali-Americana.' 

April  19,  1887. —  Osbert  Salvin,  Esq.,  F.R.S.,  Vice-President,  in 
the  chair. 

The  Secretary  called  attention  to  a  set  of  eleven  photographs  repre- 
senting the  principal  objects  of  Natural  History  collected  by  the  celebrated 
traveller  Prejevalski  during  his  four  expeditions  into  Central  Asia,  and  to 
an  accompanying  Catalogue  of  them  which  had  been  presented  to  the 
Society's  Library  by  Dr.  A.  Strauch,  of  the  Imperial  Museum,  St.  Peters- 

Mr.  T.  D.  A.  Cockerell  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  some  specimens 
of  rare  British  Slugs  taken  at  I.-leworth,  Middlesex. 

The  Secretary  read  some  extracts  from  a  letter  addressed  to  him  by 
Mr.  A.  A.  C.  Souef,  giving  an  account  of  a  successful  attempt  to  keep  the 
Duck-billed  Platypus,  or  Water-Mole,  alive  in  captivity  in  the  Zoological 
Gardens  at  Melbourne. 

Mr.  J.  Bland  Sutton  exliibited  some  bpeciiuens  of  diseased  struclures 
taken  from  Mammals  that  had  died  in   the  Society's  Gardens,  and  made 


comments  thereou.  He  also  read  a  paper  ou  the  singular  arm-glands  met 
with  in  various  species  of  the  family  Lemuridie. 

Mr.  F.  E.  Meddard  read  a  paper  on  the  anatomy  of  Earthworms,  being 
a  further  contribution  to  his  researches  on  that  subject.  The  present  paper 
treated  of  the  structure  of  Emlrilus  sylvicola,  the  reproductive  organs  of 
Acanthodr'dus,  and  the  genital  setae  of  Pevichmtu  hoidleti. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  A.  D.  Bartlett,  Superintendent  of 
the  Society's  Gardens,  containing  remarks  upon  the  mode  of  moulting 
of  the  Great  Bird  of  Paradise,  Paradisea  apoda,  as  observed  in  a  captive 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  J.  Douglas  Ogilby,  of  the  Austra- 
lian Museum,  Sydney,  containing  the  description  of  a  rare  Australian  fish, 
Olrella  cyanea.  A  second  paper  by  Mr.  Ogilby  contained  the  description 
of  an  undescribed  fish  of  the  genus  Prionurus,  obtained  in  Port  Jackson, 
which  was  proposed  to  be  called  P.  maculatus.—P.  L.  Sci.ater,  Secretary. 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

Apnl  6,  1887.— Dr.  David  Sharp,  M.B.,  F.Z.S.,  President,  in  the 

Mr.  Francis  Galton,  M.A.,  F.E.S.,  of  42,  Rutland  Gate,  S.W. ; 
Mr.  John  Henry  Leech,  B.A.,  F.L.S.,  of  10,  Hyde  Park  Terrace,  W. ; 
and  Mr.  George  S.  Parkinson,  of  Percy  Cross,  Fulham,  S.W.,  were  elected 

Mr.  Samuel  Stevens  exhibited  specimens  of  Arctia  mendica,  collected  in 
the  county  of  Cork,  in  Ireland,  by  Mr.  M'Dowall,  of  Manchester.  The 
peculiarity  of  the  Cork  form  of  the  species  is  that  the  majority  of  the  males 
are  as  white  as  the  female  of  tlie  Englisli  form  ;  and  although  smoky- 
coloured  specimens  occur  intermediate  between  the  Irish  and  English 
forms,  the  typical  black  or  English  form  appears  to  be  unknown  in  Cork. 

Mr.  M'Lachlan  exhibited  a  zinc  box  used  by  anglers  for  the  purpose  of 
keeping  living  flies  in,  which  he  thought  might  be  adapted  to  practical 
entomological  use  in  the  field. 

Mr.  George  T.  Porritt  exhibited  a  large  number  of  specimens  of 
Hyhernia  progemmaria,  bred  from  moths  collected  at  Huddersfield  last 
spring.  All  the  females  and  a  large  proportion  of  the  males  were  of  the 
dark  variety /i«scrt/rt,  which  formerly  was  almost  unknown  in  Yorlishire, 
but  which  now  seemed  likely  to  replace  the  paler  and  original  type. 

Mr.  Jenner  Weir  and  Lord  Walsingham  both  remarked  that  the 
number  of  melanic  forms  appeared  to  be  on  the  increase  in  the  north,  and 
suggested  explanations  of  the  probable  causes  of  such  increase. 

Mr.  Gervase  F.  Mathew,  R.N.,  exhibited  several  new  species  of  Rhopa- 
locera  taken  by  him  in  the  Solomon  Islands  during  the  visits  to  those 


islands  of  H.M.S.  'Espiegle'  in  1889  and  1883.  Amongst  the  specimens 
exhibited  were  species  of  Eiiplcea,  Mycalesis,  Messarus,Iiliinopaljia,  Cyrestis, 
Diadema,  Parthenos,  Lamjndes,  Sithon,  Pieris,  Papilio,  &c. 

Mr.  E.  B.  Poulton  exhibited  a  large  and  hairy  lepidopterous  larva — 
apparently  of  a  Bombyx — brought  from  Celebes  by  Dr.  Hicksou,  and  made 
remarks  on  the  urticating  properties  of  the  hairs  of  the  species,  which  were 
said  by  the  natives  to  produce  symptoms  similar  to  those  of  erysipelas  if 
the  larva  was  handled. 

Lord  Walsingham,  Mr.  M'Lachlan,  Dr.  F.  A.  Dixey,  Mr.  Jenner  Weir, 
Dr.  Sharp,  Rlr.  Slater,  and  Mr.  Poulton  took  part  in  a  discussion  as  to 
whether  urtication  was  due  to  the  mechanical  action  of  the  hairs  in  the 
skin,  or  to  the  presence  of  formic  acid,  or  some  other  irritant  poison,  in 
glands  at  the  base  of  the  hairs.  There  appeared  to  be  no  doubt  that  in 
some  species  the  irritation  caused  by  handling  them  was  merely  due  to  the 
mechanical  action  of  the  hairs. 

Mr.  P.  Crowley  exhibited  a  collection  of  Lepidoptera  recently  received 
from  West  Africa,  including  specimens  of  several  new  or  undescribed 
species  of  Mylothris,  Diadema,  Harma,  BJwnialeosonia,  &c. 

Mr.  H.  Goss  reported  the  capture  by  Mr.  G.  D.  Tait,  at  Oporto,  in 
September  last,  of  a  specimen  of  Anosia  Plexippus,  and  remarked  that, 
although  son  e  twenty  specimens  had  been  caught  in  the  South  of  England, 
only  two  specimens  had  been  previously  recorded  from  the  continent  of 

Lord  Walsingham  read  a  paper  entitled  "  A  Revision  of  the  Genera 
Acrolophus  (Poey)  and  Anaphora  (Clem.)";  and  lie  exhibited  about  twenty 
new  species  of  these  and  allied  genera.  Mr.  Staiiiton  made  some  remarks 
on  the  genus  Anaphora,  and  said  he  was  glad  Lord  Walsingham  was  working 
at  it  and  its  allies.  The  paper  was  further  discussed  by  Mr.  M'Lachlan, 
Mr.  Champion,  and  Dr.  Sharp. 

Mr.  Poulton  read  "  Notes  in  1886  on  Lepidopterous  Larvse,  &c."  In 
the  discussion  which  ensued,  Lord  Walsingham  referred  at  some  length  to 
instances  of  protective  resemblance  in  larvfe,  and  alluded  to  the  existence 
in  certain  species,  especially  of  the  genus  Melitaa,  of  prothoracic  glands. 
Further  instances  of  protective  resemblance  were  cited  by  Mr.  Jenner 

Dr.  F.  A.  Dixey  remarked  on  the  extraordinary  powers  of  contraction 
which  appeared  to  be  possessed  by  the  retractor  muscle  of  the  flagellum  in 
D.  vinula,  and  enquired  whether  any  corresponding  peculiarities  of  minute 
structure  had  been  observed  in  it.  The  discussion  was  continued  by 
Mr.  Gervase  Mathew,  Mr.  W.  White,  Dr.  Sharp,  Mr.  Ponitt,  and  others. — 
H.  Goss,  Hon.  Secretary. 

Zool  June   1887. 

Plate  4. 


k   fi 


*       .': 








Vol.  XL]  JUNE,    1887.  [No.  ]26. 


By  G.  T.  Rope. 

Plate  IV. 

Of  the  large  and  widely-spread  genus  Mus,  five  species  only 
are  known  to  inhabit  the  British  Islands ;  the  two  larger, 
M.  decumanus  and  M.  rattus,  being  commonly  known  as  Rats ; 
the  rest,  M.  musculus,  M.  sylvaticiis,  and  M.  messorius,  as  Mice. 
A  third  species  of  Rat,  M.  alexandrinus,  is  sometimes  brought  to 
our  shores  by  vessels  from  Egypt  and  various  ports  in  Southern 
Europe,  but  has  not  at  present  succeeded  in  permanently  esta- 
blishing itself.  It  appears  doubtful,  however,  whether  this  last 
is  really  specifically  distinct  from  M.  rattus. 

Of  the  latter  group,  or  "  mice,"  the  Long-tailed  Field  Mouse, 
Ahis  sylvaticus,  is  the  largest,  and  is  very  numerous  as  a  species. 
Though  a  singularly  beautiful  little  creature,  it  has  a  bad  reputa- 
tion both  with  the  farmer  and  the  gardener.  No  sooner  does 
the  sowing  season  come  round  and  the  first  early  peas  are 
put  into  the  ground,  than  the  Field  Mice  find  them  out,  and, 
taking  up  their  abode  close  bj',  carry  on  their  depredations 
during  the  hours  of  darkness.  From  observations  made  on  this 
species  in  captivity,  I  believe  it  to  be  more  strictly  nocturnal  ini 
its  habits  than  either  the  common  House  Mouse  or  the  Harvest 
Mouse,  M.  messorius ;  and  the  much  larger  and  more  prominent 
eyes  seem  to  indicate  the  same  thing. 

The  Long-tailed  Field  Mouse  has  some  little  resemblance  to 
the  Common  Mouse,  the  chief  i^oints  of  difference  being  some- 

ZOOLOGIST. — JUNE,   1857.  B 


what  analogous  to  those  distinguishing  the  Hare  from  the 
Eabbit ;  thus  both  the  ears  and  the  hinder  limbs  are  longer,  and 
the  general  colour  of  the  fur  of  a  warmer  tint.  The  relative 
difference  in  size  is  also  about  the  same,  or  perhaps  rather  less : 
besides  which  the  ej^es  are  much  larger  and  more  prominent,  the 
whole  head,  and  especially  the  muzzle,  more  elongated,  and  the 
tail  longer.  The  dimensions  given  in  Bell's  '  British  Quadrupeds' 
are  as  follows : — Length  of  the  head  and  body,  3  in.  8  lines ;  of 
the  head,  1  in.  1  line  ;  of  the  ears,  7  lines  ;  of  the  tail,  3  in.  6  lines. 
For  the  sake  of  comparison,  the  following  measurements, 
taken  from  ten  adults  from  this  locality,  may  perhaps  be  worth 
recording  : — Average  length  of  the  head  and  body,  3  in.  9|-  lines  ; 
of  the  tail,  3  in.  5  lines.  By  far  the  largest  example  was  a  female, 
the  total  length  of  which  was  S  in.  2  lines,  the  head  and  body 
occupying  4  in.  6  lines,  the  tail  3  in.  8  lines.  In  one  instance 
the  tail  measured  exactly  half  of  the  entire  length,  but  its  pro- 
portionate length,  as  seen  above,  was  in  these  examples  less  than 
in  Bell's  table  of  dimensions.  In  this  respect,  indeed,  I  have 
found  great  variation,  but  need  hardly  add  that  in  making  the 
above  measurements  abnormally  short-tailed  specimens — which 
might  possibly  have  lost  a  portion  of  that  appendage — were,  of 
course,  excluded. 

The  upper  parts  are  fawn,  interspersed  with  numerous  darker 
hairs,  the  general  effect  being  yellowish  brown  with  a  slight 
greyish  tinge.  Under  parts  white,  with  a  small  patch  or  streak 
of  fawn  between  the  fore  legs.  Darkest  colour  extending  along 
the  back  from  occiput  to  root  of  tail,  the  fawn  tint  purest  where 
it  borders  on  the  white.  Posterior  margin  of  hams  bright  orange- 
fawn.  Feet  and  fore  legs  white  up  to  the  wrist,  the  pink  skin 
showing  through  the  soft  and  somewhat  scanty  hair  on  the  feet. 
Hinder  feet  and  legs  white  up  to  the  hocks,  which  are  dark  grey 
behind,  fading  into  pale  fawn  next  to  the  white,  the  white  in 
front  being  carried  up  so  as  to  join  that  of  the  rest  of  the  under 
parts  of  the  body.  Inner  surface  and  anterior  margin  of  thighs 
white,  the  rest  of  the  same  colour  as  the  back.  All  the  fur  slate- 
colour  at  the  base.  Ears  very  large,  beautifully  formed,  and 
sparsely  clothed  with  very  short  brown  hairs.  Eyes  of  great 
size  and  remarkably  prominent.  Whiskers  abundant  and  very 
long.  The  hinder  feet  are  large  in  proportion  to  the  fore  feet, 
the  three  middle  toes  long,  the  claws  white.     The  tail  is  long  and 


flexible,  brownish  grey  above,  whitish  below ;  rather  less  than 
half  the  entire  length  of  the  animal,  but  varying  considerably  in 
this  respect.  The  colour  of  the  upper  parts  varies  in  different 
individuals,  some  showing  but  little  of  the  yellow  tint.  The  young 
are  much  greyer  than  the  adults.  Fatio  ('  Faune  des  Vertebres 
de  la  Suisse')  states  that  he  has  remarked  considerable  variation 
in  the  shape  and  extent  of  the  yellow  pectoral  spot  in  Swiss 
examples,  some  having  it  so  produced  as  to  form  a  complete 
collar,  while  in  others  he  has  found  it  entirely  absent. 

Albinos  now  and  then  occur  in  this  country,  an  instance  of 
which  will  be  found  recorded  in  '  The  Field,'  Jan.  18th,  1873,  by 
Mr.  H.  De  F.  Cox ;  and  in  '  The  Zoologist,'  June,  1884,  p.  226, 
Mr.  A.  H.  Cocks,  describing  an  albino  variety  picked  up  dead  in 
the  garden  of  Dropmore  Vicarage,  near  Great  Marlow,  Bucks, 
says,  "  It  was  a  true  albino,  the  eyes  being  pink ;  there  was  the 
slightest  possible  tinge  of  colour  on  part  of  the  back  and  flanks. 
It  was  a  female ;  and  its  unusual  colour  had — from  the  look  of 
the  teats — proved  no  obstacle  to  its  finding  a  mate,  and  becoming 
the  mother  of  a  famil3\"  According  to  Lord  Clermont  ('  Quad- 
rupeds and  Keptiles  of  Europe'),  varieties  occur  of  white,  brown, 
and  dull  yellow,  the  belly,  however,  being  always  white. 

The  large  and  well-developed  ears  appear  capable  of  detecting 
the  slightest  sound,  and  twitch  convulsively  at  a  chirp  or 
whistle  so  faint  as  to  be  barely  audible  to  human  ears.  The 
sense  of  smell,  too,  is  probably  well  developed,  and  is  doubtless 
the  principal  guide  to  the  whereabouts  of  food  —  accounting 
for  the  great  readiness  with  which  corn,  seed,  bulbs,  &c.,  are 
discovered,  whether  in  the  ground  or  stored  in  outhouses. 

This  species,  according  to  my  experience  of  its  habits  in  this 
neighbourhood,  does  not,  like  M.  viusculus  and  M.  messorius, 
inhabit  stacks  of  corn,  nor  have  I  ever  succeeded  in  finding  a 
single  individual  of  the  Field  Vole,  Arvicola  agrestis,  either  in  a 
granary  or  a  stack  of  any  kind,  though  the  latter  animal  is  said  by 
Bell  to  frequent  such  situations.  A  few  may  be  carried  in  now  and 
then  at  harvest  time  among  the  sheaves  of  corn,  but  must  either 
soon  die  or  else  make  their  escape;  for,  setting  aside  rats,  the  little 
rodents  found  often  in  such  immense  numbers  when  the  corn  is 
threshed  are  all  (with  the  exception  of  a  small  but  varying  pro- 
portion of  Harvest  Mice)  of  one  species,  viz.,  Mus  musculus. 
Doubtless  the  habits  of  this  little  animal  would  vary  a  good  deal 


according   to    circumstances,    and   I    ought   to    add   that   these 
observations  have  been  confined  to  a  rather  limited  area. 

The  Long-tailed  Field  Mouse  devours  corn  and  pulse  of  all 
kinds ;  also  acorns,  nuts,  bulbs  and  roots  of  various  sorts ;    and 
from  Mr.  Barrington's  interesting  account  of  the  habits  of  this 
animal  in  confinement  (Zool.,  April,  1882)   it  appears  that  the 
leaves  as  well  as  the  roots  of  certain  plants  are  eaten  by  it.     He 
says,   "  The  leaves   of  clover,    and    especially    dandelion,    were 
greatly   relished,    and   for    an    unexpanded  flower  of  dandelion 
nearly   everything    else    would    be    deserted."      They    also    ate 
arbutus  berries,  gooseberries,  apples,  grapes,  &c.,  but  almonds 
were  not  much  liked.     One  I  kept  would  eat  the  berries  of  the 
butcher's-broom.     In  a  wild  state  they  are  particularly  fond  of 
carrots.     Though  abroad  and  active  throughout  the  year,  these 
mice,  as  is  well  known,  store  up  underground  during  the  autumn 
vast  quantities  of  food  for  winter  use,  when  the  hard  frozen  ground 
would  otherwise  prevent  them  from  obtaining  a  sufficient  supply. 
For  this  purpose  acorns  are  often  chosen.     Prof.  Bell  mentions 
also  nuts,  corn,  and  various  seeds,  and  even  roots,  as  having  been 
found  in  their  winter  hoards.     Possibly  these  supplies  are  some- 
times exhausted  before  the  return  of  spring ;    for,  like  rabbits, 
they  will  in  severe  weather,   when  the  ground  is  covered  with 
snow,   devour   the    bark    of  young   trees.      The   last-mentioned 
writer,  in  his  account  of  the  destruction  wrought  by  mice  and 
voles  among  young   trees  in  the    Forest    of   Dean   and  in  the 
New  Forest  during  the  years  1813  and  1814,  states  that  among 
the  enormous   number  of  small  rodents  taken  in  pitfalls,  &c., 
though   the    greater    part    consisted    of    Field   Voles,    Arvicola 
agrestis,  a  considerable  number  of  Long-tailed  Field  Mice  were 
also    caught.     The    present   species,    like    most    of  the   smaller 
British  rodents,  is  to  a  certain  extent  carnivorous,  preying  when 
hard  pressed  on   young   birds,   &c.,    and    even    occasionally    on 
members  of  its  own  species.     Fatio  mentions  insects  as  forming 
a  part  of  its  diet. 

This  animal  breeds  several  times  during  the  year,  beginning 
as  early  as  March,  and  continuing  till  late  in  the  autumn. 
Mr.  Barrington's  experiments  prove  that  a  pair  of  these  mice 
are  capable,  in  a  state  of  confinement,  of  producing  as  many 
as  four  litters  in  the  space  of  ten  weeks.  He  found  the  average 
number   of  young   in   nine   litters    to    be    four,   five  being   the 


maximum ;  in  a  wild  state,  however,  the  litters  are  probably 
larger.  From  seven  to  ten  is  the  number  stated  by  Bell,  while 
Fatio  gives  it  as  four  to  six.  It  seems  probable  that  more 
than  one  pair  sometimes  jointly  occupy  a  burrow,  several  mice 
being  at  times  bolted  at  once  when  water  is  poured  into  a 
hole.  Buffon  gives  an  instance  where  twenty-two  were  found  in 
a  single  hole,  viz.  two  females  and  twenty  young.  Mr.  Barrington 
estimates  the  period  of  gestation  to  be  about  three  weeks. 

Their  burrows,  which  are  their  usual  retreats  during  the  day , 
and  in  which  the  young  are  born,  are  to  be  found  in  woods, 
orchards,  gardens,  hedge-biinks,  &c. ;  they  are  also  often  made  in 
the  open  fields,  especially  where  peas  or  beans  have  been  recently 
sown,  also  at  harvest  time,  remaining  till  the  stubbles  are 
ploughed.  From  the  quantity  of  earth  thrown  out  at  one  or 
more  of  the  openings  (of  which  there  are  seldom  less  than  three) 
they  are  often  conspicuous  objects,  looking  at  a  little  distance 
like  mole-hills.  Old  manure-heaps,  probably  from  the  warmth 
generated  in  them,  are  favourite  spots  with  these  little  animals ; 
and  they  not  unfrequently  make  their  abode  in  sheds  and  out- 
houses attached  to  gardens,  where  bulbs,  seeds,  &c.,  are  kept. 

The  singular  tenacity  with  which  the  young  mice  cling  to 
their  dam  when  she  is  surprised  and  put  to  flight  was,  as  far  as 
I  am  aware,  first  observed — or  at  any  rate  recorded — by  the 
Eev.  Gilbert  White,  the  instance  on  which  his  attention  was 
drawn  to  this  circumstance  occurring  during  the  removal  of  the 
lining  of  a  hot-bed.  He  says,  "  From  out  of  the  side  of  this  bed 
leaped  an  animal  with  great  agility,  that  made  a  most  grotesque 
figure ;  nor  was  it  without  great  difficulty  that  it  could  be  taken, 
when  it  proved  to  be  a  large  white-bellied  Field  Mouse,  with 
three  or  four  young  clinging  to  her  teats  by  their  mouths  and 
feet.  It  was  amazing  that  the  desultory  and  rapid  motions  of 
this  dam  should  not  oblige  her  litter  to  quit  their  hold,  especially 
when  it  appeared  that  they  were  so  young  as  to  be  both  naked 
and  blind  !"  Fatio  witnessed  a  similar  occurrence  :  a  female  was 
ploughed  out  of  the  ground  with  young  ones  clinging  to  her,  but 
not,  as  in  the  instance  given  by  White,  to  the  teats,  but  "accroches 
par  les  pieds  anterieurs  et  par  les  dents  a  sa  queue  et  a  ses  poils." 
As  regards  the  manner  of  attachment,  Mr.  Barrington's  observa- 
tions are  in  accordance  with  those  of  the  author  of  the  '  Natural 
History    of   Selborne';    for,   after   remarking  that  the  mothers 


seemed  to  have  hardlj'  any  cessation  of  suckling,  he  says,  "  So 
fast  did  the  young  attach  themselves  that  the  females  could 
scarcely  move  without  pulling  two  or  three  after  them."  Although 
the  present  species  does  not  estahlish  itself  permanently  in  the 
dwellings  of  man,  after  the  manner  of  that  pretty  and  amusing 
little  pilferer  the  common  House  Mouse,  I  have  known  several 
instances  of  its  having  been  caught  in  houses  ;  and  it  often  visits 
dairies  for  the  sake  of  the  milk,  of  which  it  is  particularly  fond. 
One  which  had  escaped  from  its  cage  here  was  caught  a  fortnight 
afterwards  in  the  same  room,  looking  as  sleek  and  well  as  ever. 

I  have  on  two  separate  occasions,  in  July  and  November,  seen 
this  little  animal  among  the  tall  marram-grass  on  the  sea-beach 
between  Dunwich  and  Sizewell,  on  the  Suffolk  coast.  Nests  of 
the  Harvest  Mouse,  M.  messorius,  have  also  been  found  on  the 
beach  at  Kessingland,  a  few  miles  farther  to  the  north,  as  recorded 
in  Mr.  Southwell's  '  Mammalia  and  Reptilia  of  Norfolk.'  The 
never-failing  supplies  of  food  cast  up  or  left  bai'e  by  the  waves, 
as  is  well  known,  attract  to  the  sea-coast  various  creatures  other 
than  those  of  purely  littoral  habits.  Possibly,  however,  these 
beach-mice,  instead  of  deriving  the  principal  part  of  their  food 
directl}'  from  that  source,  may  subsist  chiefly  on  the  seeds  of  this 
grass  and  of  the  various  plants  growing  on  that  wild  and  un- 
cultivated tract.  The  beach  being  cut  off  at  this  spot  from 
cultivated  soil  by  a  wide  belt  of  marshes,  ill  adapted  to  the 
requirements  of  these  animals,  it  seems  probable  that  they 
may  be  permanent  residents  there.  Rats,  Rabbits,  and  a  few 
Hares  frequent  the  place ;  and  even  Weasels  and  Stoats  in  small 
numbers  here  find  a  temporary  refuge  from  their  relentless  enemies 
the  keepers. 

Long-tailed  Field  Mice  and  Bank  Voles,  Arvicola  rufescens, 
often  make  use  of  the  same  runs,  and  in  trying  to  procure 
specimens  of  the  latter  I  have  frequently  been  balked  by  the 
Field  Mice,  which  spring  the  traps  and  imprison  themselves  with 
the  greatest  readiness.  They  are  particularly  abundant  here, 
and  on  going  out  at  night  with  a  lantern  are  sometimes  to  be 
seen  bounding  along  in  their  peculiar  zigzag  and  erratic  manner. 
Their  leaping  mode  of  progression  occasioned  by  the  comparative 
length  and  power  of  the  hinder  limbs,  and  in  fact  the  appearance 
in  general  of  these  mice,  reminds  one  of  the  Kangaroos,  or  perhaps 
even  more  so  of  their  near  relatives  the  Gerboas.     When  moving 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  207 

slowly  about  in  a  cage  their  movements  are  very  kangaroo - 
like.  In  burrowing,  the  snout  is  used  for  shovelling  the  earth 
away  in  front  of  them.  In  captivity  they  have — as  far  as  my 
exjDerience  goes — rather  a  dull  and  listless  manner,  and,  in  spite 
of  their  beauty,  make  less  interesting  pets  than  the  common 
House  Moi;se.  The  skin  of  the  tail,  as  with  the  Dormouse,  is 
but  slightly  attached,  and  if  seized  by  that  appendage  the  mouse 
generally  escapes,  leaving  the  skin  between  the  finger  and  thumb 
of  its  would-be  captor. 

THE     FlNWHx\LE     FISHEKY     OF     1886     ON     THE 

By  Alfred  Heneage  Cocks,  AT. A.,  F.Z.S. 

The  Finwhaling  season  of  1886  off  the  N.  coast  of  Norway 
and  Russia  proved  a  good  one  as  far  as  the  number  and  size 
of  the  Whales  obtained  goes,  but,  owing  to  the  continued  low  prices 
of  oil  and  baleen,  it  is  not  every  company  that  is  satisfied  with  the 
result ;  and  I  think  everyone  concerned  is  ready  to  acknowledge 
that  the}'  are  treading  seriously  on  one  another's  heels. 

Rudolphi's  Rorqual,  which  in  1885,  for  the  first  time  on  record, 
appeared  in  such  large  numbers  to  the  eastwards  of  the  North 
Cape,  last  year  confined  itself  again  to  its  usual  habitat,  only 
eight  individuals  being  taken  by  ships  of  the  companies  having 
their  stations  to  the  east  of  that  headland,  and  it  is  quite  likely 
that  some,  and  possibly  all,  even  of  this  small  number  were 
actually  killed  to  the  westward  of  it.  None  were  even  seen  by 
the  Russian  boats. 

The  Blue  Whale  reappeared  last  year  in  more  like  its  former 
numbers,  but,  as  will  be  seen  by  anyone  who  will  take  the  trouble 
to  compare  the  numbers  caught  by  each  company  last  season 
with  those  killed  in  1884  (published  in  'The  Zoologist'  for  1885), 
there  was  an  appreciable  falling- off  in  this  species  as  regards 
the  Norwegian  coast,  though  apparently  this  was  not  the  case  in 
the  eastward  portion  of  the  Russian  waters. 

A  similar  comparison  for  the  last  three  years  (1884,  1885, 
1886)  of  the  numbers  of  Common  Rorquals  killed  will  show  a 
steady  increase  each  succeeding  j'ear,  the  totals  for  each  company 
in  1886  averaging  more  than  double  the  number  obtained  in  1884. 


The  total  of  Humpbacks  killed  in  1886  was  as  nearly  as 
possible  the  same  as  in  1885,  and  if,  as  in  the  preceding  species, 
we  reckon  the  totals  for  the  three  years,  only  of  those  companies 
of  which  I  had  returns  in  1884,  we  find  the  figures  so  nearly  alike 
that,  without  complete  returns,  it  would  be  impossible  to  show 
any  diiference. 

On  my  outward  passage  over  the  North  Sea,  when  about 
152  miles  from  the  Spurn,  on  the  afternoon  of  August  6th,  or, 
roughly  speaking,  in  about  55°  33'  N.  lat.,  and  1°  52'  long.  E.  G., 
we  passed  tolerably  close  to  some  Rudolphi's  Rorquals.  There 
were,  I  am  nearly  certain,  three  of  them,  though  it  is  possible 
that  there  were,  as  conjectured  by  some  of  the  other  spectators, 
only  two.  They  kept  blowing  for  some  minutes,  as  we  crossed 
their  track,  and  occasionally  putting  their  heads  out  of  the  water. 
The  position  indicated  would  be  about  the  latitude  of  Bamborough, 
on  the  Northumberland  coast,  and  inside  the  forty  fathom  line, 
clear  of  the  N.W.  margin  of  the  Dogger  Bank.  I  saw  them  well 
enough  to  feel  confident  in  my  identification,  though  it  was  not  a 
species  one  would  expect  to  meet  with  thereabouts,  and  to  see 
any  species  of  Whale  there  is  an  exceptional  incident.  The 
Whales  were  heading  about  W.N.W.,  and  as  that  course  (or 
within  several  points  of  it)  would  bring  them  before  very  long  to 
the  Scotch  coast,  I  lost  no  time,  after  landing  in  Throndhjem,  in 
writing  to  apprise  Mr.  Southwell  of  the  likelihood  of  a  visit  being 
paid  to  the  British  coast  by  this  rather  rare  species,  and  begging 
him  to  keep  a  look-out  in  the  newspapers  in  case  any  arrival 
should  be  chronicled.  Mr.  Southwell  was  good  enough  to  take  a 
great  deal  of  trouble  in  the  matter,  and  in  a  few  days  heard  of  a 
Whale  ashore,  which  is  worth  putting  on  record  here,  although  it 
was  probably  not  one  of  the  individuals  he  was  on  the  look-out 
for.  On  August  14th,  three  fishermen  off  the  Island  of  Bernera, 
on  the  west  coast  of  Lewis,  heard  a  tremendous  noise  proceeding 
from  a  small  creek  called  Sandy  Cove.  On  getting  nearer,  they 
found  a  Whale  fixed  across  the  entrance.  One  of  them,  named 
Angus  M'Arthur,  landed  and  aimed  a  blow  at  its  head  with  an 
oar.  The  Whale  lunged  to  one  side,  and  brought  down  upon 
itself  a  piece  of  rock  estimated  at  over  a  ton  in  weight.  The 
fishermen  then  attacked  it,  and  with  much  difficultj^  after  a 
prolonged  resistance  during  which  it  brought  down  several  more 
pieces    of  rock  in  its   struggles,   they   succeeded    in    killing   it. 

THE    FINWHALK    FISHERY    OF     )  8H6.  209 

The  men  tied  a  rope  to  its  tail,  but  it  broke  it  and  nearly 
wrecked  the  boat.  Its  length  is  said  to  have  been  about  fift_y- 
four  feet,  and,  from  tlie  onl}^  description  Mr.  Southwell  suc- 
ceeded in  obtaining  in  answer  to  his  enquiries,  it  was  evidently 
either  a  Common  or  Kudolphi's  Rorqual,  as  it  had  "longitudinal 
folds  of  a  whitish  colour  on  the  lower  part"  of  the  body;  if  it 
had  been  a  Humpback,  the  remarkable  flippers  would  almost 
certainly  have  been  mentioned.  It  had  been  seen  for  about 
fourteen  days  previously  in  Locli  Roag  "  pursuing  small  herrings," 
accompanied  by  a  smaller  one.  It  was  purchased  by  Mr.  J.  N. 
Anderson,  of  Stornoway,  who  had  it  towed  there. 

When  "  IndenskJEers,"  that  is,  inside  the  barrier  of  the 
skerries,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Bergen,  on  August  8tli,  we  saw 
a  Lesser  Rorqual ;  and  a  good  many  Dolphins,  probably  D.  tursio. 
As  I  proceeded  north,  numerous  Dolphins  (?  D.  tursio)  between 
Rorvig  and  Fjeldvig,  and  a  single  one  in  Porsanger  Fjord,  were 
the  only  cetaceans  seen.  Vest  Fjord  was  passed  earlier  than  I 
expected, — during  the  small  hours  of  the  morning, — and  though 
exceptionally  calm,  no  Whales  were  seen  by  the  watch.  In 
Oxfjord  (West  Finmarken),  on  August  15th,  I  saw  the  krang  of  a 
young  male  Bottlenose  {Hyperoodon  rostratns),  which,  I  was  told, 
measured  from  2  to  2^  fathoms,  and  had  been  picked  up  in  Soro 
Sund  about  three  weeks  previously,  then  recently  dead,  and  with 
no  mark  externally  to  account  for  death. 

When  returning  from  visiting  the  whaling  establishments, 
Capt.  Horn  kindly  gave  me  a  passage  on  the  '  Murmanetz,'  when 
she  and  the  'Welda'  started  homeward  bound  from  Yeretiki  on 
September  10th;  and  I  proceeded  in  her  all  the  way  down  to 
Throndhjem,  where  she  and  her  consort  were  laid  up  for  the 
winter.  In  spite  of  very  heavy  weather,  we  saw  several  Whales 
on  the  passage.  On  the  14th,  in  a  heavy  sea  off  Bryniln,  between 
the  islands  Loppen  and  Logo,  we  passed  a  small  Whale.  On  the 
morning  of  the  15th,  near  the  head  of  Vest  Fjord,  about  three- 
quarters  of  an  hour's  run  south  of  Lodingen,  blowing  hard 
W.N.W.,  passed  a  Humpback  to  starboard  of  us;  and  about  ten 
minutes  later,  on  the  opposite  side  of  us,  we  passed  a  school  of 
from  ten  to  twenty  "  Svaerd  Fisk  "  (Sword-fish).  They  were,  I 
suppose.  Killers  {Orca  gladiator),  although,  so  far  as  mj'  observa- 
tions went,  their  appearance  did  not  correspond  well  with  that 
species;    but  as   such   a  mass  of  widely  divergent  descriptions 


have  been  given  of  what  is  after  all,  so  far  as  we  yet  kaow, 
onl_y  one  species,  I  think  it  best  not  to  aid  to  tha  existing 
confusion  by  publishing  a  fresh  description  which  I  ana  not  able 
to  substantiate. 

Ten  minutes  later  we  saw  another  Humpback  to  starboard. 
Less  than  half  an  hour  later,  a  Blue  Whale  was  blowing  very 
strongly  on  our  starboard  side ;  and  half  an  hour  later,  again, 
what  were  probably  three  "  Sildehvale "  (the  "Herring-whale" 
variety  of  the  Common  Rorqual)  to  port  of  us ;  and  then  another 
Whale  was  sighted  just  beyond  these  by  one  of  the  men,  which, 
presently  coming  rather  close  to  us,  proved  to  be  a  Common  Ror- 
qual. A  little  farther  on,  again,  far  away  to  poi't,  another  Whale, 
which  blew  frequently,  but  too  far  off  to  identify,  was  supposed 
to  be  either  a  "  Sildehval"  or  a  Humpback ;  and  in  the  evening, 
about  an  hour's  run  (nine  knots)  south  of  Bodd,  we  passed  a 
small  Whale.  Capt.  Horn  coming  through  Vest  Fjord  on  his 
way  south,  on  Oct.  1st,  passed  four  "  Sildehvale  "  within  a  short 
distance  of  Lodingen. 

The  last  Whale  I  met  with  was  only  about  fifty  miles  from  the 
Yorkshire  coast,  as  we  were  running  towards  the  Humber  on  the 
morning  of  October  10th.  On  the  fishing  gi'ound  known  to 
trawlers  as  the  "  Great  Silver  Pits  "  (30  to  40  fathoms)  we  passed 
close  to  a  Dutch  fisherman  from  Schlevingen,  in  the  act  of  hauling 
in  his  net.  About  fifty  Gannets  were  in  attendance  overhead, 
while  below  a  small  Whale  —  perhaps  a  Lesser  Rorqual — was 
steadily  breakfasting  on  the  fish  that  managed  to  escape  from  the 
meshes  of  the  net. 

With  regard  to  the  time  when  the  different  species  of  Finwhale 
appear  on  the  North  European  coast,  I  have  the  following  observa- 
tions of  some  of  the  whalers  this  last  season  to  offer  (the  actual 
date  of  the  killing  of  the  first  and  last  example  of  each  species 
being  stated  farther  on  under  the  respective  species).  Probably 
the  first  Whale  killed  last  year  was  a  Humpback,  yielding  six  and 
a  half  tons  of  oil  (about  thirty-nine  barrels),  killed  by  Capt. 
Selliken  as  he  entered  Syltefjord  on  February  24th.  Humpbacks 
are  said  to  arrive  on  the  E.  Finmarken  coast  every  February,  but 
the  weather  was  so  bad  this  year  as  to  hinder  the  fishing ;  but  it 
is  probable  that  their  numbers  are  recruited  towards  the  end  of 
the  fishing  season.  Capt.  H.  Ellevsen  came  "  Indenskjfei's"  all 
the  way  up  the  coast  in  the  spring,  that  is,  inside  the  outer  belt 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  Sll 

of  islands,  and  therefore  saw  nothing ;  it  was  too  rough  while  he 
was  crossing  Vestfjovd  to  see  anything.  Herr  Wiborg  saw  a  few 
Common  Rorquals  on  March  24th  between  Nordkyn  and  Vardo, 
and  had  seen  none  previously  on  his  passage.  Capt.  Berg  saw 
none  on  his  passage  north.  Capt.  H.  Ellevsen  saw  several 
Common  Rorquals  on  March  23rd  between  Tanafjord  and  Sylte- 
fjord ;  and  between  May  25th  and  June  26th  Whales  were 
numerous  between  Tanafjord  and  North  Cape.  Capt.  Berg  says, 
"  From  May  27th  to  June  20th  there  were,  off  and  on,  great 
quantities  of  Whales  between  North  Cape  and  Tanahorn, 
especially  about  the  Nordkyn  ;  these  Wliales  were  Common 
Rorquals  or  Whales  resembling  the  so-called  hybrids  (Bastarder). 
^Ve  had  first  in  July  a  large  show  of  Whales  N.E.  of  Syltefjord  ; 
these  were  typical  Common  Rorquals ;  at  the  same  time  there 
were  also  sundry  Blue  Whales  off  Syltefjord,  though  no  remark- 
able number.  In  April  there  was  a  stray  Common  Rorqual,  off 
and  on,  between  Tanahorn  and  Vardo,  but  the  weather  was  then 
stormy,  so  that  it  hindered  the  fishing."  Capt.  Sorensen  rejJorts, 
"  During  the  month  of  June  there  were  often  a  quantity  of  Com- 
mon Rorquals  collected  about  Nordkyn  and  North  Cape."  Herr 
Wiborg  says,  "A  quantity  of  Common  Rorquals  were  seen  in  the 
middle  of  June  between  North  Cape  and  Nordkyn.  About  the 
middle  of  July  there  were  not  a  few  Blue  Whales  about  eight  (sea) 
miles  (=  thirty-two  English  land  miles)  N.E.  of  Vardo,  on  their 
passage  eastwards.  A  few  days  later  there  were  a  quantity  of 
Blue  Whales  congregated  off  the  Seven  Islands  (Sem  Ostrova), 
on  the  Murman  coast."  Capt.  S.  A.  Nilsen,  of  the  'Murmanetz,' 
told  me  that,  with  the  exception  of  1885,  when  the  extraordinary 
arrival  of  Rudolphi's  Whales  took  place,  he  had  seen  more 
Whales  this  season  than  in  any  previous  year. 

Mr.  Robert  Cray's  very  interesting  notes  on  last  year's  voyage 
of  the  '  Eclipse,'  in  the  present  volume  of  '  The  Zoologist,'  help 
to  show  the  distribution  of  the  Blue  Whale  during  the  spring  and 
early  summer,  and  he  corroborates  the  opinion  I  expressed  in 
these  pages  in  1884,  that  the  statement  in  Nordenskiold's  'Arctic 
Voyages,'  that  the  "  Finners "  never  live  in  colder  water  than 
2'5°  C,  is  an  error.  Capt.  Castberg,  jun.  (commanding  a  Nor- 
wegian Greenland  whaler)  also  reported  seeing,  in  1886, 
Blue  Whales  among  Bottlenoses  off  Grimsey  (an  island  off  the 
N.  coast  of  Iceland),  in  67°  N.  lat.,  and  between  the  17th  and 


18th  degree  long.  W.  G. ;  and  that  oflf  Langenses  (the  N.E. 
headland  of  Iceland),  on  May  28th,  he  saw  quantities  of  this 

The  following  particulars,  kindly  supplied  to  me  by  the 
managers  whose  names  are  affixed,  will,  I  believe,  be  considered 
well  worth  recording.  With  one  or  two  exceptions,  tlie  original 
statements  were  given  me  in  Norwegian  ;  these  I  have  endeavoured 
to  translate  as  accurately  as  possible.  The  lengths,  except  where 
otherwise  stated,  are  in  Norwegian  feet  and  inches  (the  Norwegian 
foot  =  almost  exactly  1  ft.  0^  in.  English,  and  therefore  the 
Norwegian  inch  =  about  l^^  in.  English).  But  as  most  of  the 
measurements  are  given  in  feet,  omitting  inches,  it  would  have 
been  absurd  for  me  to  have  reduced  them  to  English  feet,  plus 
the  odd  inches. 

Humpback.  —  Capt.  Horn  obtained  :  Males  (June  19),  43,  41, 
43,  53,  38,  42  (Aug.  2) ;  females,  (July  1)  45,  with  male  foetus 
13  in.  long,  flipper  3  in.,  width  of  flukes  3  in.,  gape  3|-  in. 
(much  milk) ;  48  (July  38).  Average:  (6)  males,  4 1|  Eng.  ft.; 
(2)  females,  46 J  Eng.  ft.  In  1885  he  obtained  :  (Aug.  14)  31  and 
36  (Aug.  15)  38.     Average:  35  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  Andreeff  obtained:  Males  (July  9),  SSg-,  32;  females 
(Aug.  31),  35.     Average:  (3)  males,  35^;  (1)  female,  35. 

HerrWiborg  obtained:  1  male  (Aug.  3).    3  females  (Aug.  6-16). 

Capt.  Castberg  obtained:  Males  (June  19),  30,  30,  30,  28,  20, 
30.     No  females.     Average :  (6)  males,  26J  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  Berentsen  obtained :  Males  (Aug.  3),  30  and  30 ;  fe- 
males (June  9),  30  ;  (July  14)  46.  Average :  (2)  males,  30 ;  (2) 
females,  38  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  Sorensen  killed  4  and  found  1  dead  between  August 
3nd  and  6th.     Length,  about  40  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  H.  EUevsen's  5  were  obtained  between  July  28th  and 
August  17th.     Four  were  males,  and  only  one  a  female. 

Capt.  Berg  obtained  4  males,  and  no  females.  (July  23)  47, 
40,  44,  38  (Aug.  7).  In  1885  he  killed  2  as  late  as  Aug.  19.  In 
1884  he  killed  no  Whale  of  any  kind  in  August,  although  his  ship 
cruised  until  the  end  of  that  month.  In  1883  he  obtained  1  on 
Aug.  30.   In  1882  his  last  Whale  was  a  Blue  Whale,  killed  Aug.  31. 

Capt.  Selliken  took  6  ;  the  first  was  as  he  came  to  Syltefjord 
at  the  commencement  of  the  season  ;  it  gave  62-  tons  oil  (=  about 
39  barrels).    One  of  his  ships  harpooned  a  small  individual  in  the 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  213 

head  (apparently  penetrating  to  the  brain).  It  towed  the  ship 
straight  towards  land,  and  the  crew  were  in  imminent  danger  of 
being  shipwrecked  on  the  rocks.  Presently  it  reared  its  head 
right  out  of  the  water,  and  nearly  toppled  over  on  deck.  Despite 
all  their  efforts  the  crew  could  not  succeed  in  killing  it,  and  at 
last  they  lashed  it  head  and  tail  alongside  and  proposed  to  tow  it 
ashore,  still  alive ;  but  it  broke  the  lashings,  and  was  only  finally 
secured  after  a  great  amount  of  trouble.  A  fcetus  found  on  July 
.28th  measured  ITg-  Norw.  in.;  flipper,  4f. 

Herr  Andresen  obtained :  Males,  35,  42,  39,  between  July 
7  and  29,  and  no  females.     Average  :  (3)  males,  38|-  Norw.  ft. 

On  August  25th  I  saw  the  '  Varanger  '  with  one  alongside, 
not  much  more  than  20  ft ;  it  was  black-bellied.  The  great 
apparent  excess  of  males  over  females  of  this  species  has  struck 
me  since  I  first  visited  the  Whale-factories  ;  this  season,  out  of 
37  of  which  the  sex  is  recorded,  28,  or  over  two -thirds,  were  males. 
This  is  evidently  not  to  be  accounted  for  by  supposing  that  male 
animals  are  selected  where  there  is  a  choice,  on  account  of  greater 
size,  for  the  exact  contrarj^  is  the  case.  The  average  for  all  the 
males  whose  length  is  given  above  is  under  35^  Eng.  ft.,  while 
that  of  the  females  is  just  over  40^  Eng.  ft.* 

Herr  Wiborg  informs  me  of  a  Humpback  seen  this  season, 
accompanied  by  two  calves,  each  about  10  Norw.  ft.  long.  "  This 
Whale  was  very  shy,  so  that,  so  far  as  I  am  aware,  it  was  not 
captured.  Several  whalers  state  that  they  have  seen  what  was 
probably  the  same  Whale.  It  was  seen  off  Vardo,  about  six  (sea) 
miles  (==  24  English  land  miles)  from  land." 

Blue  Whale.  —  Capt.  Horn  obtained  some  extremely  large 
Whales.  Males:  May  25,  80  Eng.  ft.;  June,  80  Eng.  ft.;  July, 
76,  81,  68,  84,  77,  81,  72,  78,  75,  80,  63,  76,  83;  Aug.,  80,  72,  85. 
Females:  June,  80,  81  (containing  foetus  5  ft.  7  in.  long); 
July,  87  (accompanied  by  young  one  between  50  and  60  ft. 
long),  80  (containing  foetus  15  ft.  6  in.  long),  71;  Aug.,  two 
of  77  ft.  Total  (18)  males,  average,  78^8  Eng.  ft. ;  (7)  females, 
average,  79  Eng.  ft.  The  Blue  Whales  taken  by  Capt.  Horn 
in  1885  were:  June  (1st),  68  Norw.  ft.;  (6th)  female,  72; 
July,  67,  77;  female,  81;  Aug.,  83,  71;  female,  82  (with  milk 
running) ;  male,  75 ;  female,  81  (Aug.  9).  Average  length 
(irrespective  of  sex)  of  10  =  75-rV  Norw.  ft. 

*  Eeckoning  1  ft.  0|  in.  English,  to  the  Norwegian  foot. 


Capt.  Andreeff,  at  Arra  Guba,  obtained :  Males,  63  (middle 
of  June),  64,  73,  67,  51,  60,  72  ;  females,  70^  75,  52, 
77,  70,  67,  79.  Average:  (7)  males,  66  Eng.  ft.;  (7)  females, 
70  A  Eng.  ft. 

HeiT  Wiborg,  of  Kiberg,  obtained,  on  June  21,  a  female  con- 
taining foetus  9  ft.  In  July,  5  males,  and  2  females,  one  of  which 
(killed  10th)  was  accompanied  by  a  calf  about  40  ft.  long;  and  on 
Aug.  20,  a  female,  with  foetus  8  ft.  The  length  of  these  Whales 
was  from  65  to  80  Norw.  ft.,  and  most  of  them  were  extremely 
fat.  Herr  Wiborg  writes  as  follows  (translated) : — "  Manager 
Amlie  of  this  place  (Christiania),  who  carries  on  Whale-fishing  at 
Iceland,  told  me  a  few  days  ago  that  he  had  this  year  shot  a  poor 
Blue  Whale,  which  had  a  shell  lodged  in  the  back  part  of  the 
head,  near  the  blow-holes,  of  the  kind  we  use  in  Finmarken. 
Herr  Amlie  supposes  that  the  AVhale  was  shot  or  wounded  by  the 
Finmarken  whalers,  which  is  also  the  opinion  of  Herr  Amlie's 
harpooner.  The  wound  was  thought  to  be  a  year  old."  Herr 
Wiborg  also  noted  that  about  the  middle  of  July,  about  eight  sea 
miles  N.E.  of  Vardd,  there  were  a  good  many  Blue  Whales 
travelling  eastwards ;  and  some  days  later  there  were  a  quantity 
of  this  species  congregated  outside  the  Seven  Islands  (Sem 
Ostrova),  on  the  Murman  coast.  Capt.  Berg  noted  the  appear- 
ance of  some  Blue  Whales  off  Syltefjord  during  the  early  part  of 
July,  "  though  no  remarkable  number." 

Capt.  Castberg  obtained,  on  June  2,  a  female  78  Norw.  ft., 
containing  foetus  3j  Norw.  ft. ;  July  1,  female  78  ft,  6  in.  Norw. ; 
and  on  the  23rd  a  male  72  ft.  Average:  (1)  male,  72  ft.;  (2) 
females,  78  ft.  3  in.  Norw. 

Capt.  Berentsen  obtained,  on  June  8,  a  male  76  Norw.  ft. ; 
30th,  female  76  ft. ;  in  July,  1  male,  2  females,  each  74  ft. ,  in 
August,  a  female  75  ft. ;  this  last  was  in  lean  condition,  and  only 
yielded  about  40  barrels  of  oil.  Average :  (2)  males,  75  ft. ;  (4) 
females,  74|  Norw.  ft. 

Ciipt.  Sorensen  obtained  7  between  June  30  and  July  15,  and 
they  measured  between  70  and  75  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  H.  Ellevsen  obtained  10  between  June  8  (77  Norw.  ft. 
lone)  and  Aug.  7,  when  one  was  found  floating  dead. 

Capt.  Berg  obtained :  Males  (June  30),  61;  (July),  74,  70; 
females  (June  28),  68  ;  (July),  68,  67,  68,  74.  Average  :  (3)  males, 
68^ ;  (5)  females,  69  Norw.  ft. 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  215 

Capt.  Selliken's  largest  Whale  (of  4)  was  a  male,  82  Norvv.  ft. 

Herr  Andvesen  obtained,  between  June  10  and  July  17: 
Males,  74;  females  (June  10),  72,  containing  foetus  50  Norw.  in., 
68,  84.  Average:  (1)  male,  74  Norw.  ft.;  (3)  females,  74| 
Norw.  ft. 

The  sex  of  a  Blue  Whale  (and  in  a  less  marked  degree  it  is, 
I  believe,  true  of  other  species  of  Baltenoptera,  and  possibly  of 
other  whalebone  Whales)  may  be  distinguished  by  the  shape  of 
the  baleen  plates,  which  in  a  male  are  long  (up  to  4  ft.,  including 
gum)  and  narrow,  but  thick;  while  in  a  female  they  are  short  and 
broad,  but  thinner. 

While  at  Mebavn  (where  we  had  to  take  shelter  in  heavy 
weather  on  our  way  south  in  the  whaler  '  Murmanetz '),  I  found 
quantities  of  the  copepod,  Balcsnopliilus  unisetits,  on  baleen  of  the 
Blue  Whale.  Capt,  S.  A.  Nilsen,  of  the  '  Murmanetz,"  told  me 
that  on  August  5th  he  saw  two  males  of  this  species  making 
overtures  to  a  female.  He  harpooned  one  of  the  males,  on  which 
the  other  supposed  male  sprung  clean  out  of  the  water  head  first, 
and  nearly  fell  on  board  the  ship  ! 

Common  Rorqual. — That  this  species  is  extremely  variable  is 
only  too  well  known,  for  it  has  led  to  the  multiplication  of  spe- 
cies and  great  confusion ;  but,  according  to  the  reports  of  the 
Finwhalers,  who  have  had  during  the  last  few  years  opportunities 
never  before  accessible  of  examining  in  a  fresh  state  large  num- 
bers of  these  animals,  it  seems  as  if  these  differences  might 
perhaps  be  classified  under  three  constant  varieties — although  it 
must  be  allowed  that  these  varieties  are  not  as  yet  as  clearly 
defined  as  could  be  wished  ;  however,  I  here  quote  the  descriptions 
as  given  me.  Capt.  Sorensen  says,  "  On  the  western  and  southern 
coasts  of  Norway  a  sort  of  Whale  is  met  with  during  the  herring- 
fishing,  often  in  great  numbers,  which  is  called  Herring  Whale 
(Sildehval).  This  Whale  is  most  like  the  Capelan  Whale 
(Loddehval),  but  smaller  than  it,  rarely  longer  than  50  to  55  ft. 
It  is  black  on  the  back,  white  on  the  belly,  and  the  baleen  like  the 
Common  Finwhale's  (i.  e.,  the  Capelan  Whale).  Its  dorsal  fin  is 
somewhat  higher  and  more  pointed  than  the  Finwhale's,  and  it 
3'ields  less  oil  than  that  kind."  He  adds  that  the  "  Sildehval "  is 
the  southern  kind,  and  the  "Loddehval"  is  the  common  Finwhale 
of  the  north. 

Capt.  H.  EUevsen  says,  "  The  common  Fin-  or  Capelan-Whale 


disappeared  at  the  end  of  April ;  it  is  white  under  the  belly.  The 
Finwhale  which  then  came  has  more  or  less  dark  gre}'  colour 
among  the  white,  especially  on  one  side ;  its  snout  is  generally 
more  pointed,  and  the  Whale  is  more  slender  and  longer";  and 
adds  that  the  Finwhales  that  eat  Lodde  (Capelan)  are  only  in 
Finmarken  waters  in  the  spring,  and  that  those  that  eat  Kril 
{Calanus  finmarchicus)  come  later. 

Capt.  Castberg  described  the  "  Herring  Whale "  as  much 
resembling  the  Blue  Whale ;  the  head  like  a  Blue  Whale's ;  the 
line  of  the  back  much  bowed  posterior  to  the  dorsal  fin ;  the 
furrows  on  the  belly  are  after  the  pattern  of  a  Common  Finwhale, 
except  that  they  are  narrower  (the  furrows  in  the  Blue  Whale  are 
shallower  and  narrower,  and  more  numerous  than  in  the  Common 
Rorqual) ;  the  flukes  more  like  those  of  the  Blue  Whale  than  the 
Common  Fin. 

Capt.  Horn  has  only  seen  one  Whale  answering  the  description 
given  by  Capt.  Castberg  of  the  "Sildehval";  it  was  a  male 
63  Eng.  ft.  long,  killed  August  21st  last;  it  was  almost  black  on 
the  back  (blacker  than  a  Blue  Whale) ;  at  a  very  short  distance 
behind  the  dorsal  fin  the  line  of  the  back  bent  abruptly  down  (as 
if  humpbacked) ;  the  dorsal  fin  was  farther  aft  than  usual ;  the 
difference  in  colour  caused  it  to  look  very  different;  it  was 
extremely  tough  and  hard;  an  example  of  49  ft.  probably  produced 
more  oil  than  this  one. 

A  Norwegian  who  was  one  of  the  first  colonists  to  settle  on  the 
Murman  coast  told  me  that  he  knows  the  "  Sildehval "  ;  it  is  like 
the  Whales  found  about  Bergen,  and  is  black  on  the  back ;  it 
arrives  on  the  coast  with  the  herring,  for  which  there  is  no 
fixed  time. 

Nearly  universally  recognised  among  the  Finwhalers  is  the 
so-called  "Bastard,"  from  its  having  been  supposed  to  be  the 
offspring  of  mixed  parentage — of  a  Blue  and  Common  Rorqual. 
This  variety  appears  to  attain  to  larger  dimensions  than  the 
typical  form,  and  is  described  as  grey,  rather  than  the  usual 
white,  on  the  under  side ;  on  one  side  the  baleen  plates  are  for  a 
short  distance  at  the  anterior  end  entirely  white,  while  the 
remaining  portions  are  darker  than  the  normal  colour.  The 
following  lengths  of  specimens  of  B.  musculus  were  given  me; 
I  have  kept  the  ''  Bastards,"  where  mentioned,  distinct  from  the 
common  form: — 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY    OF    1886.  217 

Capt.  Horn  obtained  :  (measured  in  English  feet)  Males,  April 
(4),  Fin,  64,  65,  66,  68  ;  Bastard,  67  ;  May,  Fin,  63  ;  Bastard,  73; 
Fin,  65;  June,  Bastard,  71 ;  July,  Fin,  65;  Aug.,  Fin,  63,  64,49, 
63  (this  last  was  the  Herring  Whale  before  mentioned).     Females, 
April  (6),  Fin,j71  ;  Bastard,  80|-  (very  fat),  64  ;  May,  Fin,  64  (con- 
taining foetus  about  ISg-  in.  long,  gape  of  mouth  3  in.,  length  of 
flipper  If  in.,  across  flukes  2^  in.) ;  June,  Fin,  64  (foetus  3  ft.  8  in.) ; 
July,  Fin,  68^,  69  ;  Bastard,  70  (foetus  23|  in.  long,  gape  of  mouth 
4  in.,  length  of  flipper  2|  in.,  base  of  dorsal  fin   Its  in.,  across 
flukes  4|  in.,  on  upper  mandible  7  hairs  on  left  side,  8  on  right, 
and   17  on  the  lower  mandible).     Average:   (14)  males,  QM;  (8) 
females,  68|  Eng.  ft.     It  will  be  seen  from  the  above  figures  that 
of  16  typical  Common  Eorquals,  only  1  reached  70  ft.;  while  out 
of   6    of  the    "Bastard"    variety,    4    were    70    ft.   and  upwards, 
1  reaching  the  remarkable  length  of  80^  Eng.  ft.     This  Whale 
was  shot  by  the  'Murmanetz'  on  April  9th,  the  hai-poon  going 
well  in  just  behind  a  flipper,  that  is,  somewhere  very  close  to  the 
heart,  and  the  shell  exploded.     The  wound,  instead  of  proving 
almost  immediately  fatal,  seemed  to  madden  the  victim,  and  it 
rushed  away  at  great  speed  and  towed  the  steamer,  with  the  pro- 
peller working  full  speed  astern,  for  four  hours;  when  the  '  Welda' 
being  sighted,  she  was  signalled  to  assist,  and  this  vessel,  steaming 
up  at  an  angle,  succeeded  in  lodging  a  harpoon  just  behind  the 
flipper  on  the  opposite  side  to  the  first ;  this  shell  also  exploded 
properly.     The  Whale  in  this  mortally  wounded  condition  actually 
towed  the  two  steamers  steaming  full  speed  astern,  with  a  boat 
from  each  constantly  lancing  it,  for  two  hours  before  it  succumbed. 

Capt.  Andreeff  obtained :  (measured  in  English  feet)  Males 
(June),  49,  63,  61;  females,  (April  13)  65,  63,  71,  70,  63,  60,  60, 
68,  69,  64,  63,  54,  61  (Sept.  8).  Average  :  (3)  males,  57^  ft. ;  (13) 
females,  63t3  ft. 

In  1885  Capt.  Horn  obtained  :  (March  20)  Fin,  64,  65,  60,  58; 
Bastard,  71 ;  Fin,  59,  63  (female  with  foetus  4  ft.  long),  58,  64,  59, 
63,  56,  63,  58,  58,  61,  55,  57,  61,  58,  59;  Bastard,  70;  Fin,  63, 
58,  54,  57,  57,  64.     Average  :  (28)  60JJ  Norw.  ft. 

Herr  Wiborg  obtained  between  April  0  and  Aug.  2 :  Males 
(including  a  Bastard  about  70  Norw.  ft.,  killed  June  3),  13; 
females,  10.  On  May  30th  a  female  contained  a  foetus  4  Norw.  ft. ; 
on  the  38tli  he  found  one  of  3  ft. ;  on  June  9th,  one  of  5  ft. ;  and  on 
July  26th,  one  of  7  ft. 

ZOOLOGIST. JUNE,   1887.  S 


Capt.  Castberg  obtained:    Males  (April  4),  70,  58,  61,    63, 

62,  55,  50,  58,  64,  65,  64,  69,  63  ft.  6  in.,   67,  58,  67,  60,  65,  65, 

63,  63,  45  ft.  5  in.  (Aug.  5) ;  females  (My  9),  40,  65  (killed  May  21, 
containing  foetus  5  Norw.  ft.),  63,  73,  60,  70  ft.  3  in.,  66,  63, 
59,  60  (July  5,  foetus  5^  ft.),  53,  65  (July  7,  foetus  6^  ft.),  67 
(July  8,  foBtus  6  ft.),  66  (July  9,  foetus  6^  ft.),  65,  63,  65  (July  24, 
foetus  7  ft.),  62,  64,  65,  60,  67  (Aug.  18).  Average:  (22)  males, 
em  Norw.  ft. ;  (22)  females,  62  ft.  9  in. 

Capt.  Berentsen  obtained :  Males,  (April  12)  60,  58,  60,  54, 
59,  60,  67,  62,  60,  64,  63,  57,  67,  57,  60  (July  24);  females, 
(April  6)  58,  61,  63  (May  2,  foetus  4  ft.  4  in.  Norw.),  68  (May  26, 
a  great  quantity  of  milk,  probably  recently  calved),  67,  62,  56,  62, 
62,  67,  59,  70  (July  5,  fffitus  6  ft.),  68,  62,  59,  00  (July  11,  fffitus 
6  ft.),  68,  66,  69,  60,  70,  60  (Aug.  7).  Average:  (15)  males,  60j 
Norw.  ft. ;   (22)  females,  63  ft.  9  in.  Norw. 

Capt.  Sorensen's  20  specimens  were  from  60  to  65  Norw.  ft. 
The  first  was  killed  April  5,  the  last  July  28.  On  July  10  he 
found  a  foetus  4  ft.  8  in.  Norw.  long. 

Capt.  H.  Ellevsen  obtained  57  between  March  29  and  Aug.  18, 
and  found  4  foetuses:  on  June  18,  in  a  Whale  56  Norw.  ft.,  a 
foetus  2  ft. ;  on  the  20th,  in  a  Whale  54  ft.,  a  foetus  3  ft. ;  on  the 
24th,  in  a  Whale  58  ft.,  a  foetus  4  ft. ;  and  on  July  7,  in  a  Whale 
66  ft.,  a  foetus  8  ft.  1  in. 

Capt.  Berg  obtained :  Males  (April  6),  62,  60 ;  Bastard,  58 ; 
Fin,  59,  64,  58,  62  (June  20)  ;  females,  (April  15)  70,  50  ;  Bastard, 
61  (June  4,  foetus  3  ft.  3  in.  Norw.) ;    Fin,  55,  74  (June  10,  foetus 

8  ft.),  53,  65,  59  (July  1,  foetus  5  ft.  5  in.),  60  (July  12,  fo3tus 
1  ft.  5  in.),  67,  69  (July  27).  Average:  (7)  males,  6  Of  ft. ;  (11) 
females,  627t  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  Selliken  captured  a  Common  Rorqual  this  season  763- 
Norw.  ft.  long  in  a  straight  line. 

Herr  Andresen  obtained  :  Males  (April  12),  50,  56,  66,  64,  62, 
66,  60,  64,  64,  62,  62,  60,  63,  63,  58,  57,  61,  62,  50  (Aug.  17); 
females,  52,  66,  66,  68,  62,  68,  64,  62,  59,  66,  64,  64.  Fretus  in 
Whale  68  ft.,  on  June  29,  8  ft.  ;  and  in  a  Whale  64  ft.,  on  July  24, 

9  ft.     Average  :  (19)  males,  OOJi  ft. ;  (12)  females,  63^j  Norw.  ft. 

Capt.  S.  A.  Nilsen,  of  the  '  Murmanetz,'  says  that  he  sees 
Common  Rorquals  pairing  during  May,  up  to  about  June  1st 
every  year  ;  and  that  in  the  spring  they  have  calves  by  their  sides 
not  more  than  8  or  9  ft.  long.  He  thinks  the  young  Whales 
(first  calf)  pair  in  the  autumn. 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY   OF    1886.  219 

RuDOLPHi's  Rorqual.  —  Capt.  Castberg's  single  example  of 
this  species  was  a  male  45  Norw.  ft.  long,  killed  on  June  19th; 
it  was  one  of  a  school  numbering  about  20. 

Herr  Andresen  obtained  (June  8)  female  42  Norw.  ft.,  female 
50,  male  40,  male  42 ;  (July  3)  female  48,  with  foetus  2  ft.  1  in. 
Nor.;  female  44,  female  48  (July  26).  Average,  (2)  males,  41; 
(5)  females,  463  Norw.  ft.  On  July  18,  1885,  a  female  Rudolphi 
was  brought  in  to  his  factory  at  Tufjord  (close  S.W.  of  North 
Cape)  45  Norw.  ft.  in  length,  in  which  were  found  two  foetuses  of 
opposite  sexes;  the  male  measured  6  ft.,  and  weighed  48  kilo- 
grams ;  the  female  measured  4  ft.,  and  weighed  30  kilograms. 

Capt.  H.  EUevsen's  ships  reported  seeing  some  Rudolphi's  on 
June  2nd,  off  Nordkyn. 

One  of  Capt.  Selliken's  whalers  cruising  about  fifty  English 
miles  north  of  Kongsfjord  (the  next  Fjord  to  the  westward  of  Sylte- 
fjord)  during  splendid  weather  in  April,  the  sea  perfectly  calm,  fell 
in  with  thousands  of  Seals  (?  sp.).  If,  as  I  believe  to  be  the  case, 
this  is  well  out  of  their  usual  track,  it  would  perhaps  be  the  result 
of  an  unusual  condition  of  the  ice  to  the  north,  the  edge  being 
reported  very  low  down  off  these  coasts  this  season. 

While  staying  in  Syltefjord,  I  walked  over  from  Capt.  Selli- 
ken's to  Capt.  Berg's  factory  on  Aug.  iSth,  and  as  I  approached 
the  first  batch  of  Whale-krangs  near  the  latter's  I  put  up  no  less 
than  twenty  Ravens  in  a  flock  from  them.  I  do  not  recollect  to 
have  previously  seen  quite  so  many  together.  All  the  factories 
have  an  inclined  plane  from  the  ground  to  the  upper  part  of  the 
boiling-house  for  the  trolly  to  run  up  with  the  "  blanket  pieces  " 
of  blubber.  The  angle  formed  by  the  last  few  feet  at  the  bottom 
is  usually  boarded  in,  to  form  a  tool  shed  or  sort  of  boatswain's 
locker.  A  pair  of  White  Wagtails  {M.  alba)  had  found  out  a 
crevice  at  the  top  of  one  of  these  boards,  and  had  built  a  nest 
inside,  in  the  dark,  and  immediately  under  the  rumbling  trolly. 
The  store  of  empty  barrels  was  kept  on  the  beach,  enclosed  by  a 
turf  wall  (forming  exactly  what  would  be  called  a  "Tun"  in 
Iceland).  In  the  interstice  between  some  of  the  sods  another  pair 
of  Wagtails  built  a  nest,  but,  as  it  was  entirely  exposed  to  the 
rain,  the  cooper  fixed  half  of  a  cask-head  over  it  to  form  a  roof, 
which,  I  was  told,  the  birds  had  much  appreciated.  The  young 
had  flown  from  both  nests  at  the  time  of  my  visit,  but  the  nests 
remained ;  they  were  formed  of  very  fine  root-fibres  and  a  little 


moss,  lined  with  reindeer-hair,  and  a  few  horse-  and  cow-hairs, 
and  very  fine  fibres.  The  fibres  of  the  nest  under  the  inclined 
plane  were  coarser  than  those  used  in  the  sod  bank. 

With  regard  to  the  average  yield  of  oil  from  each  species  of 
the  BalcBnoptericlce,  I  made  further  enquiries  this  season  on  the 
subject,  and  the  general  opinion  among  those  whom  I  consulted 
was  that  the  estimate  published  in  '  The  Zoologist,'  1886,  p.  122, 
is  rather  a  low  one ;  but  in  answer  to  that  I  would  point  out  that 
the  total  yield  of  oil  this  year,  inclusive  of  the  4th  quality 
obtained  from  the  krangs  by  those  companies  that  have  guano- 
factories,  is,  according  to  the  returns  given  me,  about  29,959 
petroleum-casks.  Calculating  the  yield  from  the  Whales  obtained, 
even  according  to  this  low  estimate,  the  amount  would  be  28,510 
petroleum-casks  of  the  first  three  qualities  of  oil,  and  if  we  add 
to  this,  say,  3000  more  for  the  4th  quality  oil,  the  result  is  much 
above  the  actual  amount  said  to  have  been  obtained.  But  from 
the  differences  between  the  individual  results,  it  seems  difficult  to 
arrive  at  any  figures  that  would  give  a  true  average. 

The  average  boilers  in  use  in  the  factories  hold  about  2000 
gallons;  but  more  than  about  1700  gallons  of  Sptek  cannot  be 
boiled  in  them,  and  this  latter  amount  produces  up  to  about 
18  petroleum-casks  of  oil  (say,  750  gallons). 

The  following  prices  offered  for  baleen  about  the  middle  of  the 
season  show  the  relative  values  per  ton  in  each  species ;  each 
plate  to  be  not  under  35  centim.  long  (=  1;3|  in.) : — Blue  Whale, 
^£65  ;  Rudolphi's  Rorqual,  £40  to  £Ab  ;  Common  Rorqual,  ;£30  ; 
and  Humpback,  about  £30. 

Some  idea  of  the  size  of  the  harpoons  used  may  be  gathered 
from  the  weight  of  one.  Including  the  wire  grummet,  the  cord, 
and  spunyarn  lashings,  but  without  the  shell  or  whale-line,  it 
scaled  56  kilo,  (that  is,  over  123  lbs.).  The  cost  of  each  is  80  Kr. 
(=  &i  9s.)  as  it  leaves  the  blacksmith,  and  nearly  100  Kr.  (more 
than  £5  10s.)  when  ready  for  use.  In  an  old  volume  of  the  '  Ny 
illustreret  Tidende'  (Christiania,  May  11,  1884,  p.  174i  there  is 
some  account  given  of  Capt.  Svend  Foyn  and  the  Finwhaling :  it 
is  there  stated  that  the  shell-carrying  harpoon  is  said  to  have  cost 
him  160,0000  Kr.  (over  £8800),  when  the  various  experiments 
undertaken  are  included ! 

I  have  to  thank  several  of  the  managers  whose  names  are 
mentioned  in  the  preceding  pages  for  the  information  they  kindly 

THE    FINWHALE    FISHERY    OF    1880.  221 

gave  me ;  and  especially  are  my  thanks  due  to  Capts.  Selliken, 
Berg,  and  Horn,  who  put  me  up  most  hospitably  at  their 
respective  factories,  and  the  latter  in  addition  gave  me  a  passage 
in  one  of  his  whalers  all  the  way  from  Yeretiki  to  Throndhjem. 
Capt.  Sorensen,  in  addition  to  other  information,  filled  up,  as  in 
previous  years,  some  gaps  in  the  table  given  at  the  end,  of  the 
Finwhaling  Companies  and  their  takes  in  1886. 

There  is  one  more  Rudolphi's  Rorqual  to  be  added  to.  last 
year's  list,  obtained  by  Herr  Gjsever,  of  Tromso;  and  Herr  Goebel 
on  the  Murman  coast  was  credited  with  one  Blue  Whale  too  many, 
leaving  the  grand  total  of  Whales  killed  during  the  season  the 

In  the  following  table  the  new  names  are  as  before,  printed  in 
italics.  The  establishment  at  Baadsfjord  is  not  exactly  a  new 
Company,  being  the  one  which  was  formerly  at  Akerfjord  on 
Soroen ;  Capt.  Foden,  the  manager,  was  formerly  captain  of 
Capt.  Selliken's  whaler,  the  '  Skytten.' 

In  the  following  table  the  column  giving  the  approximate 
amount  of  oil  obtained  by  all  the  companies  is  a  new  and  I  think 
interesting  feature,  which  I  was  requested  by  some  of  the 
managers  to  publish.  I  have  replaced  the  second  "r"  in  Arra, 
as  the  word  signifies  a  Guillemot  in  Russian,  and  is  likely  to  be 
the  meaning  in  this  instance.  (Cf.  Alca  arra,  one  of  the  synonyms 
for  Brunnich's  Guillemot,  which  is  simply  two  onomatopoeic 
names  for  a  Guillemot — Alka,  Swedish  (Alke,  Norwegian),  and 
Arra,  Russian. 

In  the  annexed  table,  the  Tromso  establishment  being  the 
only  one  from  which  I  have  learnt  no  particulars  as  to  the  sjiecies 
of  Whale,  I  have  divided  the  total  of  22  by  guesswork,  and  put  in 
the  details  in  Roman  figures,  in  order  to  arrive  at  an  approximate 
total  of  each  species. 

Since  the  above  was  in  print,  a  paragraph  has  been  published 
in  the  evening  papers  of  March  28th,  stating  that  the  'Vardohus' 
started  from  Sandefjord  for  this  season's  whaling  on  the  23rd  of 
that  month,  and  was  wrecked  during  the  night  off  Mandal. 
"Only  two  men  were  saved  out  of  her  crew  of  about  fifty." 
I  have  written  to  make  enquiries,  but  up  to  the  present  have 
learnt  no  particulars  of  this  disaster. 


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(     333     ) 

By  R.  von  Lendenfeld,  Ph.D.,  F.L.S. 

Sponges  are  exceedingly  variable  in  shape.  Their  primordial 
form  is  the  same  as  that  of  the  higher  Coelenterates,  the  Gastrula. 
The  wall  of  the  originally  simple  Gastrula-sac  is  folded  con- 
siderably in  the  higher  sponges.  Great  quantities  of  mesodermal 
ground- substance  are  produced  and  occupy  these  folds ;  thus  the 
massive  body  of  the  sponge  is  formed.  The  gastral  cavity  becomee 
the  oscular  tube  which  communicates  with  the  surrounding  water 
by  the  oscula  or  vents.  The  terminal  opening  of  large  tubular 
sponges  is  generally  not  an  osculum,  but  a  pseudosculum.  In  that 
case  the  true  oscula  are  situated  in  the  inner  wall  of  the  tube. 

The  sponges  which  are  regular  in  shape  are  mostly  radially 
symmetrical,  without  distinct  anti-  or  metameres.  There  are, 
however,  also  forms  known  with  a  definite  number  of  antimeres, 
but  these  are  rare.  Only  one  bilaterally  symmetrical  sponge,  a 
tree-shaped  Halichondrine  {Esperiopsis  challengeri,  Kidley),  has 
been  described  hitherto.  This  consists  of  a  slender  cylindrical 
stem,  to  the  sides  of  which  regular  bilaterally  symmetrical, 
kidney -shaped  fronds  are  attached  by  long  peduncles.  The 
Hexactinellidce  and  Syconida  are  distinguished  by  their  regular 
radially  symmetrical  shape.  These  are  sac-shaped.  The  Tethyidcs 
are  pretty  regularly  spherical.  A  great  many  of  the  Chondro- 
spongice  and  most  Cornacuspongm,  particularly  the  Horny 
Sponges,  are  quite  irregular  in  shape.  The  distinctive  features 
of  the  species  appear  as  combinations  of  peculiarities  which  are 
very  unimportant  in  themselves,  but  which  combined  characterise 
the  form  and  enable  one  to  identify  the  sponges. 

The  size  of  sponges  is,  like  their  shape,  subject  to  great  varia- 
tion. The  smallest  sponges,  excepting  the  doubtful  Physemaria, 
are  the  most  simple  forms  of  calcareous  sponges,  the  Asconida. 
The  largest  forms  we  find  among  the  Chondrospongm  and  Coma- 
cuspongice.  There  is  in  the  British  Museum  a  fragment  of  a 
cylindrical  Suffaria  from  the  West  Indies,  which  is  nearly 
1|-  metres  long  and  20  cm.  thick.  The  specimens  of  Euspongia 
from  the  Bahamas,  particularly  the  flat,  cake-shaped  forms,  some- 
times attain  a  breadth  of  1  metre  and  a  height  of  25  cm.  The 
largest  sponges  known  are  the  species  of  Poterion  described  by 


Harting.  They  are  high,  elegantly  vase-shaped  sponges,  which 
attain  a  breadth  of  f  and  a  height  of  1^  metres.  Mr.  Ramsay 
dredged  a  massive  Ra-phyrus,  which  weighed  several  hundred- 
weight, on  the  east  coast  of  Australia. 

The  colour  of  sponges  is  also  very  variable.  Hexactinellid 
and  Calcareous  sponges  are  colourless,  and  appear  brilliantly  white, 
in  consequence  of  the  lustre  of  their  spicules.  Most  other  sponges 
have  brilliant  colours.  Mimicry  is  rare.  Only  the  forms  which 
possess  a  sand  cortex  correspond  in  colour  to  the  sea-bottom  on 
which  they  grow.  Most  Chondrospongim  and  Cornaciispongice 
possess  glaring  colours,  presumably  for  the  purpose  of  warning 
and  frightening  other  animals. 

The  changes  of  colour  exhibited  by  certain  sponges  shortly 
after  death  are  very  interesting.  Nardo  drew  attention  to  this 
fact  in  the  case  of  Aplys'ma  aerojyhoba  as  early  as  18:33.  This 
sponge  is  bright  sulphur-yellow  in  the  living  state,  but 
when  exposed  to  air,  or  fresh  water,  it  changes  this  colour  to 
dark  blue. 

The  body  of  the  higher  sponges  appears  as  a  mass  of  mesoder- 
mal ground-substance,  in  which  cells  of  various  kinds  are  found. 
This  mass  is  pervaded  by  a  complicated  system  of  frequently 
branching  canals.  All  free  surfaces  are  covered  with  epithelia. 
The  canal  system  is  transgressing,  and  is  essentially  different  in 
this  respect  from  the  csecal  gastrovascular  system  of  higher 
Coelenterates.  On  the  surface  there  are  numerous  small  pores 
which  lead  into  this  canal  system. 

The  entrances  to  the  inhalent  canals  proper  are  not  to  be 
sought  for  in  the  pores  of  the  skin,  but  lie  in  the  floor  of  extensive 
subdermal  cavities,  into  which  the  inhalent  pores  lead.  Whilst 
the  different  parts  of  the  subdermal  cavities  communicate  with 
each  other,  the  inhalent  canals  and  their  branches  do  not  form 
any  anastomoses  in  the  interior  of  the  sponge.  They  lead  into 
the  ciliated  chambers,  which  are  spherical  or  sac-shaped  ex- 
tensions of  the  canals,  clothed  with  a  peculiar  epithelium  of 
collared  cells.  The  ciliated  chambers  possess  very  small  in- 
halent pores,  through  which  the  water  passes  from  the  inhalent 
canal  system ;  that  is  to  say,  the  canals  are  very  much  con- 
stricted just  before  widening  to  form  the  ciliated  chambers. 
The  inhalent  pores  are  more  or  less  opposite  to  the  exhalent 
pore,  which  is  much  larger  and  always  single. 


The  canal  system  of  different  sponges  is  veiy  differently 
developed.  The  form  described  above  is  that  of  the  most  highly 
developed  sponges,  the  Chondrospongice  and  Gornacuspongice. 
The  entodermal  as  well  as  the  ectodermal  epithelia  of  sponges 
always  consist  of  one  single  layer  of  cells  only.  In  this  character 
the  main  difference  between  sponges  and  higher  Coelenterates  is 
to  be  found.  In  the  latter  the  epithelia  always  consist  of 
several  laj^ers  of  cells,  from  the  lower  subepithelial  layer  of  which 
all  the  organs  are  developed. 

The  epithelial  cells  of  sponges  are  of  two  kinds  onl}' — flat 
pavement-cells  and  collared  cells.  Each  epithelial  cell  possesses  a 
cilium.  In  the  most  simple  sponges,  the  sac-shaped  Asconida,  the 
ectoderm  consists  of  a  single  layer  of  flat  cells  on  the  outer 
surface  of  the  sponge,  and  the  entoderm  forms  a  single  layer  of 
collared  cells  on  the  inner  surface  of  the  sponge  ;  flat  entodermal 
cells  do  not  occur  in  these  sponges.  Whilst  in  all,  even  the  most 
highly  developed  forms,  the  ectodermal  epithelium  invariably 
consists  of  flat  pavement-cells,  we  find  in  all  sponges,  with  the 
exception  of  the  above-mentioned  group,  two  kinds  of  entodermal 
cells — collared  cells  and  flat  entodermal  pavement-cells.  The 
collared  cells  are  confined  to  the  ciliated  chambers,  whilst  the 
whole  exhalent  canal  system  and  the  oscular  tube  are  clothed 
with  a  low  epithelium  of  flat  pavement-cells. 

In  the  Hexactinellidce  the  collared  cells  are  connected  with 
each  other  by  basal  processes ;  but,  as  a  rule,  they  are  isolated. 
Their  shape  is  very  constant — long,  cylindrical,  with  a  long, 
projecting,  more  or  less  cup-shaped,  hyaline  collar,  which 
appears  as  a  marginal  extension  of  the  free  end  of  the  cell. 
The  long  flagellum  is  inserted  in  the  middle  of  the  cup  formed 
by  this  collar.  Whilst  the  collared  cells  always  appear  to  be  filled 
with  readily  stainable  granular  protoplasm,  the  hyaline  plasma 
of  the  low,  flat  cells  is  confined  to  a  mass  surrounding  the 
nucleus,  from  which  protoplasm-threads  radiate  to  the  proto- 
plasmic coating  of  the  cell-wall.  It  seems  that  the  only 
difference  between  the  ectodermal  and  entodermal  pavement- cells 
is  their  difference  of  height.  The  former  are  mostly  slightly 
lower  than  the  latter. 

The  function  of  the  pavement-cells  does  not  appear  at  first 
sight  to  be  a  very  important  one,  because  these  cells  are  not  com- 
pletely filled  with  protoplasm.     The  collared  cells  in  the  ciliated 


chambers,  on  the  other  hand,  appear  to  be  active  elements  which 
perform  an  important  function. 

The  mode  and  process  of  nourishment  in  sponges  is  very 
doubtful.  Feeding  experiments  with  carmine  have  shown  that 
not  only  the  collared  cells,  as  was  previously  believed,  but 
all  the  epithelial  cells  indiscriminately  possess  the  power  of 
taking  up  fine  particles.  Infusoria,  &c.,  liave  been  observed  in 
the  amoeboid  wandering  cells  in  the  interior  of  the  body; 
but  nothing  definite  is  yet  known  concerning  the  mode  of 
nourishment.  It  is  quite  certain  that  the  sponge  must  extract 
organic  substances  and  oxygen  out  of  the  surrounding  water 
somehow,  and  that  tlie  epithelial  cells,  being  the  only  elements 
in  contact  with  the  water,  must  perform  that  function.  It  is 
also  evident  that  sponges  cannot  devour  large  animals,  as  the 
extremely  fine  sieves  which  cover  the  inhalent  pores,  and  the  very 
small  pores  which  lead  from  the  inhalent  canals  into  the  ciliated 
chambers,  make  it  impossible  for  large  animals  to  enter  the  sponge. 

Even  small  Infusoria  and  Diatoms  must  encounter  difficulties 
before  they  can  reach  the  ciliated  chambers.  Great  precautions 
are  evidently  taken  to  prevent  all  solid  bodies  from  entering  the 
canal  system,  and  particularly  the  ciliated  chambers.  It  is  further 
quite  clear  that  no  nourishment  can  be  taken  up  through  the 
oscula,  through  which  the  water  is  continually  flowing  out. 
It  seems  to  me  most  probable  that  the  food  of  sponges  is  dis- 
solved in  the  water,  and  that  the  sponge  procures  its  nourishment 
from  the  water  in  the  same  way  that  plants  absorb  their  nourish- 
ment from  the  solutions  circulating  in  the  soil. 

Now  the  question  arises,  which  cells  perform  the  function  of 
nutrition — tlie  flat  pavement  epithelium  of  the  canal- walls,  or  the 
collared  cells  of  tlie  ciliated  chambers.  The  collared  cells  seem, 
from  their  situation  and  structure,  best  fitted  for  such  a  function. 
But  it  must  be  considered  that,  although  none  of  the  higher 
Coelenterates  possess  nephridia,  yet  the  ciliated  chambers 
resemble  kidneys  so  closely  that  it  is  not  impossible  they 
really  are  such.  They  can  hardly  have  to  perform  the  combined 
functions  of  segregating  urea  and  of  taking  up  nourishment.  If 
we  consider  the  chambers  as  nephridia  we  must  assume  that 
the  flat,  pavement-epithelium,  and  particularly  the  ectodermal 
clothing  of  the  inhalent  canals,  performs  the  function  of  taking  up 
nourishment.     My  own  observations  have   brought  me   to  this 


conclusion.  That  nourishment  can  be  taken  up  by  indifferent  ecto- 
derm cells  is  shown  by  the  tapeworm,  which  may  be  here  used  in 
illustration  on  account  of  its  highly-developed  nephridia. 

The  most  probable  explanation  of  the  functions  of  the 
epithelia  of  sponges  seems  to  me  to  be  the  following : — A  constant 
current  of  water  passes  through  the  sponge.  At  the  entrance  to 
the  canal  system  there  are  numerous  inhalent  pores,  which  are 
covered  by  very  fine  sieves ;  at  the  opposite  end  a  few  large 
oscula,  through  which  the  water  is  expelled,  are  observed.  If 
the  sponge  fed  on  solid  substances  floating  in  the  water  the 
current  would  of  course  enter  by  the  wide  open  oscula,  and  would 
be  ejected  through  the  small  pores.  Many  experiments  have 
shown  that  the  water  invariably  enters  through  the  small  pores 
and  passes  out  through  the  oscula.  At  the  entrance  to  the 
ciliated  chambers  there  is  a  further  filtering  arrangement,  and  the 
water  current,  caused  by  the  movements  of  the  cilia  in  the  whole 
canal  system,  is  here  impeded.  The  water  in  the  inhalent  canals, 
outside  the  ciliated  chambers,  is  consequently  under  slightly 
higher  pressure  and  enters  the  canal-epithelium;  here  the  sub- 
stances necessary  for  the  life  of  the  sponge  are  taken  up.  Behind 
the  pores  which  lead  into  the  ciliated  chambers — that  is  to  say, 
in  the  chambers  themselves — there  is  a  lower  pressure,  in  conse- 
quence of  the  increase  in  width  of  the  canals  towards  the  osculum. 
This  facilitates  the  secretory  function  of  the  collared  cells.  As  the 
sponge  does  not  take  up  any  solid  substances  there  are  no  faeces, 
and  the  expulsion  of  useless  substances  devolves  on  the  ciliated 
chambers.  The  epithelium  of  the  inhalent  canals  is  probably 
also  respiratory  in  function.  In  this  case  the  inhalent  canals 
would  represent  digestive  and  respiratory  organs,  and  the  ciliated 
chambers  nephridia. 

As  the  process  of  nourishment  is  cari'ied  on  endosmotically, 
a  great  quantity  of  useless  material  is  probably  absorbed  together 
with  the  nutrient  substances,  and  all  this,  together  with  the 
whole  of  the  material  oxidised  in  the  sponge,  must  be  extracted 
and  expelled  by  the  cells  of  the  ciliated  chambers.  This  may 
account  for  their  high  development  in  sponges,  just  as  it  ac- 
counts for  the  high  development  of  nephi'idia  in  the  tapeworm. 

Sponges  are  distinguished  from  other  Coelenterates  by  their 
highly  developed  mesoderm,  and  the  degree  of  differentiation 
attained  by  its  elements.     Whilst  all  the  organs  of  the  Hydro- 


medusce,  Corals,  and  Ctenopliora  are  ectodermal  or  entodermal, 
those  of  the  Sponges  are  mesodermal.  In  the  former  the  cells  of 
the  epithelia  are  differentiated ;  the  epithelium  of  sponges  is 
alwajfs  simple.  The  muscles,  nerves,  gland-cells,  &c.,  which  we 
find  in  sponges  are  not  modified  epithelium  cells,  but  differentiated 
elements  of  the  mesoderm.  There  is  no  subepithelium  in  sponges. 
The  same  kinds  of  cells  which  we  find  in  the  Epithelaria,  with  the 
exception  of  the  cnidoblasts,  are  also  found  in  sponges.  But  here 
all  cells  which  do  not  clothe  the  surface  are  of  mesodermal  origin. 

Movements  in  adult  sponges  were  observed  by  Aristotle. 
These  movements  are  performed  by  cells  which  are  called  con- 
tractile fibre-cells  by  F.  E.  Schulze.  They  are  elongated,  spindle- 
shaped  elements,  which  are  mostly  found  around  the  pores. 
I  have  also  found  such  cells  in  other  parts  of  the  sponge, 
and  Sollas  describes  similar  elements  in  the  sphincters  which 
divide  the  subdermal  cavities  of  the  Geodidce  from  the  inhalant 

The  skeleton  of  the  Sponges  which  belong  to  the  order 
Cornacuspongice  appears  as  a  network  of  fibres,  which  are  com- 
posed of  series  of  spicules  cemented  together  by  spongin.  Reniera, 
Halichondria,  &c.,  possess  only  a  very  small  quantity  of  spongin. 
In  the  Chalinince  and  Desmacidonidce  the  number  and  size  of  the 
spicules  decreases,  and  the  spicules  are  replaced  by  the  spongin- 
cement  more  and  more.  In  the  Horny  Sponges  the  siliceous 
spicules  have  disappeared  entirely  from  the  supporting  skeleton, 
which  consists  exclusively  of  spongin — a  substance  identical  with 
the  cement  of  the  Halichondria  skeleton.  There  may  be  foreign 
bodies  imbedded  in  the  spongin-fibres.  The  spongin  of  different 
Cornacuspongics  is  not  always  the  same ;  according  to  Eidley  and 
Vosmaer  it  difi'ers  in  diff'erent  cases  in  its  behaviour  towards 
polarised  light.  The  colour  of  the  spongin  is  very  variable; 
the  cement  of  many  Halichondridoz  is  hyaline,  that  of  many  Des- 
macidomd(B  and  Spongidce  light  brown,  of  A2)lysillidce  light  orange 
and  sometimes  black.  The  horny  fibres  of  the  Spongelidce  appear 
light  yellow  and  transparent. 

The  spongin  of  dry  skeletons  is,  as  a  rule,  darker  than  that  of 
living  sponges  or  spirit  specimens ;  it  is  very  tough  and  elastic. 
According  to  Ivrukenberg,  the  chemical  composition  of  spongin 
is  C3oH4eN90,  s.  and  is  thus  similar  to  that  of  chitin,  conchio- 
lin,   and  cornein.      Spongin  is  dissolved  by  boiling  acids,  and, 


according  to  Passelt,  is  decomposed  when  heated  in  air  without 
first  becoming  sticky.  My  own  experiments  show  that  it  becomes 
soft  and  sticky  in  superheated  water  (200°). 

The  spongin  always  appears  in  layers.  It  surrounds  in  con- 
centric layers,  of  different  refracting  powers,  the  spicule-bundles 
of  Halichondrida,  as  it  does  also  the  axial  thread  or  pith  cylinder 
of  Horny  Sponges.  It  is  secreted  by  gland-cells.  These  elements 
are  pear-shaped,  and  similar  to  the  gland-cells  of  the  skin ;  the 
protoplasm  is  dense  and  granular,  the  nucleus  large  and  spherical. 
The  cells  are  attached  by  a  slender  peduncle  to  the  surface  of 
the  fibre,  they  are  pretty  closely  packed,  and  form  a  more  or  less 
continuous  mantle  investingthe  growing  parts  of  the  skeleton  fibres. 
These  cells  have  been  termed  "  spongoblasts"  by  their  discoverer, 
F.  E.  Schulze.  They  occur  only  on  those  parts  of  the  fibrous 
skeleton  which  are  still  growing,  and  disappear  as  soon  as  the 
fibres  attain  their  full  size.  The  solid  reticulate  skeleton 
of  the  Sponcjidis,  known  to  everyone  as  the  Bath  Sponge,  con- 
sists of  a  few  thick,  radial,  so-called  main  fibres,  between  which 
a  fine  network  of  connecting  fibres  is  spread  out.  In  all  the 
fibres  we  can  distinguish  an  axial  thread  which  consists  of  a 
granular  substance,  and  which  is  surrounded  by  spongin.  At  the 
joining  points  of  the  fibres  we  see  that  the  layers  are  not  continuous, 
and  that  all  the  axial  threads  are  not  in  connection  with  each 
other.  The  main  fibres  grow  principally  at  the  ends  in  length, 
and  afterwards  in  thickness ;  the  connecting  fibres  rapidly  reach 
their  full  thickness,  and  do  not  grow  in  length  at  all.  The 
axial  threads,  on  the  surface  of  which  the  spongin  is  precipitated, 
form  a  network,  but  they  are  in  no  connection  with  the  axial 
threads  of  the  main  fibres.  In  the  latter,  foreign  bodies  are 
often  found  which  are  used  by  the  sponge  as  material  to  build 
up  its  own  skeleton,  and  which  are  cemented  together  with 
spongin.  Tbey  are  selected  from  the  bodies  which  accidentally 
fall  on  the  surface  of  the  sponge,  chiefly  sand-grains,  Foraminifera- 
shells,  and  siliceous  spicules  of  other  sponges. 

Spermatozoa  and  ova  are  observed  in  sponges.  The  sper- 
matozoa possess  rounded  or  sharp-pointed,  slender  heads.  They 
are  formed  by  the  continued  fission  of  spherical  mesoderm  cells, 
derived  from  amoeboid  wandering  cells.  In  the  Calcareous 
Sponges  these  cells  divide  first  into  two— a  sperm  mother-cell 
and   a  covering   ceU.       By   continued  division  the  spermatozoa 


are  formed  from  the  former ;  the  latter  does  not  change,  and  sur- 
rounds the  ripening  sperm-ball.  The  mature  spermatophores  are 
often  found  in  the  walls  of  the  ciliated  chambers.  In  the  Silicea 
no  such  structures  are  observed.  The  sperm  mother-cells  form  by 
continued  division  sperm -balls  without  covering  cell.  The  sper- 
matozoa lie  radiallj'  in  the  extended  wall  of  the  sperm  mother- 
cell.  In  Aplysilla  and  many  other  sponges  the  sperm-balls 
accumulate  in  certain  parts  of  the  body,  particularly  in  the 
trabeculse  and  membranes,  which  are  spread  out  in  the  basal 
or  central  lacunae.  They  are  often  surrounded  by  a  peculiar 
endothelium,  clothing  the  cavities  in  which  they  are  contained. 
This  endothelium  consists  of  irregular,  flat  cells,  which  lie  in 
several  layers  one  over  the  other.  Farther  outward  these  cells 
become  more  irregular,  and  appear  to  be  separated  by  layers  of 
intercellular  substance,  becoming  very  similar  to  the  common 
connective-tissue  cells.  At  the  time  of  ripening,  the  spermatozoa 
pass  into  the  canals  and  swarm  out  through  them. 

The  ova  are  also  derived  from  wandering  cells.  As  they 
mature,  they  lose  their  mobility,  increase  in  size,  and  become 
spherical,  while  the  nucleus  increases  in  size.  The  ripe  ova  are 
destitute  of  a  thick  cell-wall,  and  lie  scattered  or  in  groups  in 
the  mesodermal  ground  substance.  They  are  often  surrounded 
by  endothelial  capsules  similar  to  those  of  the  sperm-balls.  In 
some  cases  the  ovum  appears  to  be  attached  by  a  special 
peduncle — a  differentiated  endothelial  cell — to  the  capsule. 

In  the  hermaphroditic  sponges  the  ova  and  spermatozoa,  to 
prevent  self-fertilisation,  do  not  mature  at  the  same  time.  They 
are  fructified  within  the  body  of  the  mother,  where  the  first  stages 
of  development  take  place. 

The  most  interesting  and  the  least  known  organ  system  in 
sponges  is  their  nervous  system.  The  first  person  who  pointed 
out  that  the  sponges  were  sensitive  was  no  other  than  Aristotle. 
A  few  years  ago  Prof.  Stewart  demonstrated  Palpocils  of  Grantia 
at  a  meeting  of  the  Royal  Microscopical  Societj',  but  did  not  pub- 
lish a  description  of  them  at  the  time.  Subsequently  I  described 
certain  elements  in  Calcareous  Sponges,  which  I  considered  as 
nervous  elements,  and  since  then  I  have  found  similar  sensitive 
cells  in  a  number  of  species  belonging  to  various  groups. 

Recently  also  Prof.  Stewart  has  published  a  figure  of  his 
Palpocils,  and  as  he  has  courteously  allowed  me  to  examine  his 


slides,  I  can  now  sum  np  our  knowledge  on  this  subject  as  follows: — 
In  the  circumference  of  the  inhalent  pores,  or  scattered  irregularly 
over  the  outer  surface,  or  in  the  membranes  which  traverse  the 
lacunar  cavities  in  the  interior  of  the  sponge,  or  also  round  the 
pores  in  the  cribriform  plates  which  cover  the  pseudoscula  of 
certain  tubular  species,  nerve-cells  are  found.  Thej'  are  rarely 
single,  much  more  frequently  in  groups  of  from  three  to  six. 
In  Grantia  high  and  slender  conical  processes  are  found  on  the 
outer  surface.  In  the  widened  basal  portion  of  these,  oval  cells 
are  situated  from  which  irregular  processes  radiate.  One  of  these 
processes  is  much  larger  than  all  the  others,  and  extends  up- 
wards in  the  form  of  a  fine  thread  to  the  distal  end  of  the  organ. 
The  other  processes  of  the  cell  extend  downwards.  In  each  organ 
several  such  cells  are  found.  These  organs  are  the  Palpocils  of 
Stewart,  who,  not  noticing  the  fact  that  they  are  polycellular,  gave 
them  that  name.  Possessing  this  extraordinary  and  most  im- 
portant peculiarity,  I  have  termed  them  Synocils.  It  is  remark- 
able that  these  structures  have  escaped  observation  hitherto,  but 
it  appears  highly  probable  that  the  sponge  has  the  power  of 
retracting  them,  so  that  they  are  visible  only  under  exceptionally 
favourable  circumstances.  It  is  very  likely  that  the  groups  of 
cells  previously  observed  by  me,  and  described  as  sensitive,  are 
nothing  else  than  retracted  Synocils. 

The  nervous  system  appears  to  be  most  highly  developed 
in  Eiispongia  canaliculata,  where  continuous  zones  of  nervous 
tissue  —  sensitive  cells  above  and  ganglion  cells  below  —  are 
observed  surrounding  certain  lacunose  areas  below  the  surface. 

The  collections  made  during  the  voyages  of  the  'Alert'  and 
'  Challenger,'  as  well  as  my  own  labours  in  the  Australian  Seas, 
have  extended  our  knowledge  of  the  geographical  distribution  of 
sponges  so  that  we  are  now  able  to  form  a  general  idea  of  it. 
Sponges  occur  in  all  seas.  Those  living  at  great  depths  are 
mostly  cosmopolitan,  while  those  which  occur  in  shallow  water  are 
very  different  in  various  localities.  The  Tropical  and  Polar  zones 
possess  not  nearly  so  rich  a  sponge  fauna  as  the  Temperate  zone. 

Besides  thirteen  families  of  Hexactinellida  and  Lithistida, 
which,  being  deep-sea  sponges,  are  mostly  cosmopolitan,  there  are 
thirty-three  families  of  marine  sponges  which  live  mostly  in 
shallow  water,  the  distribution  of  which  I  will  discuss.  Of  these, 
twenty-five  are  cosmopolitan,  two  occur  in  the  North  Atlantic,  and 

23.3  THE    ZOOLOGIST. 

six  in  the  Australian  Seas  only.  The  number  of  cosmopolitan 
genera  is  about  twelve  :  90  per  cent,  of  the  genera  are  limited  to 
small  districts. 

The  Australian  Seas  are  the  richest  in  peculiar  genera  and 
families,  principall}'  belonging  to  those  grouj)s  -which  we  consider 
as  the  most  highly  developed.  Of  the  Calcispongice,  the  Teichonidce 
and  SylleihidcB  are  confined  to  Australia,  and  the  Leuconiclce  are 
very  plentiful.  In  the  same  way  the  highest  Chondros2)ongi(e,  the 
Tethydce,  are  represented  in  the  Australian  Seas  by  seven  genera, 
whilst  from  all  other  parts  of  the  globe  only  three  genera  are 
known.  The  number  of  species  of  Australian  Chondrosidcs  and 
Chondrillidce  is  likewise  greater  than  from  other  parts.  The 
Keratosa,  the  most  highly  developed  Cornacuspongice,  are  repre- 
sented by  thirty-three  genera,  with  more  than  two  hundred 
species,  in  the  Australian  Seas ;  whilst  only  nine  genera,  with 
about  fifty  species,  are  known  from  other  parts  of  the  globe. 
The  lower  forms  of  Cornacuspojigm  are  distributed  pretty  equally. 

The  Ectyonmce  and  Chalinince,  which  are  rich  in  spongin,  are 
prevalent  in  the  Australian  Seas,  whilst  the  Espierellin(e,  which 
possess  very  little  spongin,  are  rare.  The  latter,  as  well  as 
the  ChoristidcB  and  Suheritidm,  are  most  abundant  in  the  North 
Atlantic  Ocean.  Australia,  the  land-fauna  of  which  appears  an 
age  behind  that  of  other  continents,  harbours  on  its  shores  the 
most  highly  developed  sponge-fauna. 

The  localisation  of  the  different  groups  of  marine  sponges 
appears  particularly  remarkable,  considering  that  the  fresh- 
water sjjonges  are  more  or  less  cosmopolitan.  The  familj^  Spon- 
gillidcB  is  represented  in  all  quarters  of  the  globe,  and  the  common 
English  fresh-water  sponge,  or  very  insignificant  varieties  of  it, 
occurs  everywhere.  This  is  particularly  remarkable  in  the  case  of 
Australia.  Whilst  the  marine  sponges  on  its  coast  are  entirely 
different  from  those  of  the  North  Atlantic,  the  fresh-water  sponges 
found  in  the  isolated  rivers  of  Australia  are  the  same  or  very 
similar  to  those  of  our  English  streams,  although  the  physical 
conditions  are  as  different  as  they  can  be.  This  shows  that  the 
continued  inbreeding  of  the  fresh-water  sponges  caused  by  their 
isolation  destroys  their  variability,  whilst  the  continued  hybridi- 
sation of  the  marine  sponges  causes  a  continual  renewal  of  their 
variability,  and  further  demonstrates  that  the  efficient  cause  of  the 
variability  of  species  must  be  sought  in  their  hybridisation. 

(     338     ) 

Death  of  Mr.  John  Gatcombe.— As  an  old  contributor  to  this  Journal 
the  name  of  Mr.  John  Gatcombe,  of  Plymouth,  will  be  familiar  to  our 
readers,  and  we  regret  to  have  to  announce  his  death,  which  took  place, 
at  the  age  of  68,  on  the  28th  April  last.  He  was  born  at  Knowle,  in 
Somersetshire,  but  spent  the  greater  part  of  his  life  at  Plymouth.  As  might 
be  inferred  from  the  notes  which  he  contributed  from  time  to  time  to  these 
pages,  Mr.  Gatcombe  was  a  naturalist  who  delighted  in  the  out-door  observa- 
tion of  the  habits  of  birds,  and  his  intimate  acquaintance  with  a  large 
number  of  species  rendered  his  notes  always  reliable.  He  was  once  lucky 
enough  to  meet  with  and  secure  a  pair  of  the  Alpine  Accentor  near  Plymouth 
(Yarrell,  i.  p.  297).  The  keen  interest  which  he  took  in  Ornithology  made 
him  always  willing  to  assist  others  with  information,  and  the  Editor  can 
recall  with  gratitude  many  acts  of  kindness  on  his  part  in  helping  to  clear 
up  doubtful  points,  especially  in  connection  with  the  seasonal  changes  of 
plumage  in  sea-birds,  to  which  he  had  paid  considerable  attention.  Should 
anyone  be  found  to  undertake  a  work  on  the  Avifauna  of  Devon,  Mr.  Gat- 
combe's  scattered  notes  will  be  found  of  material  value  in  its  preparation, 
and  their  republication  in  a  collected  and  condensed  form  would  furnish  a 
pleasing  memorial  of  a  very  worthy  naturalist,  who  in  a  quiet  way  continually 
strove  to  further  the  interest  of  Ornithology  in  his  own  county. 


Hedgehog  attacking  a  Hare.— A  neighbour  has  recently  (April  29th) 
told  me  of  a  strange  capture  of  a  Hare.  He  was  crossing  one  of  his  fields 
late  in  the  evening  when  he  heard  a  Hare  crying.  He  went  in  the 
direction,  expecting  to  find  one  in  a  trap,  but  was  astonished  to  come 
across  one  attacked  by  a  Hedgehog,  which  was  holding  on  to  one  of  its  hind 
legs.  The  Hare,  a  fully-grown  one,  seemed  paralysed  by  fear,  and  allowed 
itself  to  be  lifted  up.  Directly  the  Hedgehog  was  shaken  off  it  died  in  my 
informant's  hands,  although  the  injury  it  had  received  from  the  bite  of  its 
assailant  was  but  slight.  Such  a  curious  fact  as  this  seems  worthy  of 
record.— MuiiRAY  A.  Mathew  (Stonehall,  Wolfscastle,  Pembrokeshire). 

A  Pied  Hare.— In  January  last  one  of  my  friends  shooting  with  me 
here  in  the  big  wood  killed  a  Hare  which  had  the  whole  of  one  side  from 
nose  to  rump  pure  white,  and  on  the  other  side  a  patch  of  white  as  big  as 
one's  hand  behind  the  shoulder.  I  never  before  heard  of  a  variety 
occurring  in  the  woods  here,  even  when  they  were  full  of  hares  and  more 
than  150  were  shot  in  a  day.  Now,  when  not  more  than  thirty  are  killed 
in  a  day,  the  appearance  of  a  variety  is  more  curious.  —  J.  Whitaker 
(Rainworth,  near  Mansfield). 

ZOOLOGIST. — JUNE,  1887.  T 


The  supposed  Serotine  in  the  Newcastle  Museum.  —  In  1884 
I  communicated  to  the  Norfolk  and  Norwich  Naturalists'  Society'  a  list  of 
the  Mammalia  of  the  county  of  Norfolk,  and,  in  instituting  a  comparison 
between  the  various  published  lists  for  the  eastern  portion  of  England  from 
the  Thames  to  the  Tweed,  I  ventured  to  express  an  opinion  (like  yourself 
at  p.  171  siqna)  that  the  Serotine  mentioned  in  Messrs.  Meunell  and 
Perkins's  '  Catalogue  of  the  Mammalia  of  Northumberland  and  Durham  ' 
as  having  been  killed  at  Cleadon  would  prove  to  be  a  Noctule.  In  August 
of  the  same  year  I  paid  a  visit  to  the  Newcastle  Museum,  and,  through 
the  kindness  of  Mr.  J.  Hancock,  had  an  opportunity  of  examining  the 
specimen  in  question,  which  proved  to  be,  as  you  suggest,  a  Noctule.  A 
note  on  the  subject,  contributed  by  Mr.  W.  D.  Roebuck,  will  be  found  in 
the  'Naturalist'  for  April,  1885,  p.  202.  This  is,  I  believe,  the  first 
recorded  occurrence  of  the  Noctule  in  the  county  of  Durham,  but  Mr. 
Eoebuck  states  that  it  is  a  common  and  widely  diffused  species  throughout 
Yorkshire.  In  my  notes  on  this  species  I  find  the  earliest  record  I  have  of 
its  appearance  is  March  (no  day),  on  one  occasion  only,  but  in  most  years 
about  April  20lh  ;  whilst  in  1871  I  saw  several  on  the  evening  of  Sept. 
19th;  on  another  occasion  others  on  Oct.  23rd;  and  in  1872  Mr.  Frank 
Norgate  sent  me  a  specimen  which  he  shot  at  Sparham  on  Nov.  5th. — 
T.  Southwell  (Norwich).  [Some  further  notes  on  this  subject  unavoidably 
stand  over. — Ed.] 

Reported  Occurrence  of  Vespertilio  murinus  in  Dorsetshire. — In 
your  remarks  on  British  Bats  (p.  161)  I  am  credited  with  having  noted 
this  species  amongst  the  Bats  occurring  in  Dorsetshire,  but  I  cannot 
recollect  having  ever  reported  it.  It  has  occurred  to  me,  however,  that  you 
may  have  seen  Vesjiertilio  murinus  recorded  in  my  father's  remarks  on  the 
'  Fauna  of  Dorsetshire  '  (first  series,  vols.  2,  3,  and  4).  If  so.  his  notes  are 
intended  to  refer  to  the  Common  Pipistrelle.  The  following  I  believe  to 
be  a  correct  list  oF  the  Bats  found  in  Dorsetshire: — Vesperugo  noctula, 
which  is  common  (I  found  several  some  years  ago  in  a  hole  of  an  old  walnut 
tree);  Vesperugo  pipislrellus,  which  is  also  common;  Vespertilio  natter  eri; 
V.  dauhentonii  (abundant);  V.  mystacinus  ;  Plecotus  auritus  (not  common); 
Synotus  barbastellus,  also  not  common,  though  a  few  were  found  in  the 
tower  of  the  church  when  it  was  restored  in  1875 ;  and  lastly  Wiinolophus 
ferrum-equinum. — C.  W.  Dale  (Manor  House,  Glanvilles  Wootton). 

[The  occurrence  of  R.  ferrum-equinum  in  Dorsetshire  is  mentioned  in 
Bell's  '  British  Quadrupeds  '  (2nd  ed.  1874,  pp.  92,  93),  in  a  communication 
from  Mr.  James  Salter,  who  saw  several  and  captured  one  in  the  haunted 
room  at  Tomson  Manor  House  in  September,  1865. — Ed.] 

Change  of  Habits  in  the  Brown  Rat. — The  habits  of  the  Brown  Rat 
in  England  are  sometimes  very  similar  to  those  which  it  is  said  (p.  180)  to 
have  assumed  in  New  Zealand.     This  is  especially  the  case  in  summer,  at 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  235 

which  season  it  is  very  fond  of  takiug  up  its  abode  by  the  water  side.  It 
then  feeds  greedily  on  all  the  dead  fish  it  can  find,  thus  causing  the  Otter 
to  be  accused  of  much  destruction  of  which  it  is  not  guilty.  Pollard  willow 
trees  are  very  favourite  abodes  of  the  Brown  Rat;  I  once  found  the 
remains  of  a  full-grown  Partridge  in  one  of  these  dwellings.  It  also 
frequently  makes  its  nest  in  thorn  fences,  not  only  in  low-lying  and  wet 
lands,  but  even  on  high  ground.  The  Brown  Rat  can  dive  and  swim  very 
expertly.  It  is  far  more  common  by  the  water  side  in  summer  than  in 
winter,  probably  finding  the  water  too  cold  at  the  latter  season.— E.  W.  H. 
Blagg  (Cheadle,  Staffordshire). 


Nesting  of  the  Stock  Dove  in  East  Lothian.— Having  been  informed 
by  Mr.  McDonald,  gamekeeper,  Hailes,  that  a  pair  of  Pigeons  had  taken 
up  their  abode  among  the  crags  of  Trapraiu  Law,  and  that  he  was  certain 
that  it  was  not  the  Ring  Dove  or  the  Rock  Dove,  I  suspected  it  was  the 
Stock  Dove  [Colmiha  anas).  On  visiting  the  spot  on  April  9th  I  found 
my  suspicion  confirmed.  The  birds  were  very  shy,  but  I  managed  to  get 
a  very  good  view  of  them.  A  number  of  Jackdaws  were  persecuting  them 
unmercifully.  Twice  we  saw  one  of  the  Stock  Doves  disappear  among  the 
rabbit-burrows  on  the  steep  face  of  the  hill,  and  have  no  doubt  that  they 
were  breeding  there.  We  climbed  up  as  far  as  possible,  and  observed  one 
of  them  issue  from  the  place  where  we  saw  it  disappear.  I  picked  up  a 
feather,  which  I  sent  to  Mr.  Evans,  of  Edinburgh,  and  he  pronounced  it  to 
be  undoubtedly  one  of  the  wing-coverts  of  the  Stock  Dove.  Mr.  McDonald 
will,  so  far  as  he  is  able,  see  that  the  strangers  remain  unmolested. 
A  specimen — the  first  obtained  in  East  Lothian — was  exhibited  by  Mr. 
Evans  at  a  meeting  of  the  Royal  Physical  Society  on  March  17th,  1886. 
It  was  shot  near  Longniddry  in  January,  1886,  while  feeding  in  company 
with  a  number  of  Ring  Doves.  A  second  specimen  was  netted,  along  with 
Ring  Doves,  in  the  same  locality  on  March  5, 1886.— G.  Pow  (Dunbar,  N.B.) 

Plumage  of  the  Tufted  Duck.— Mr.  Macpherson,  writing  under  this 
heading  (p.  112),  says,  "Perhaps  Mr.  Whitaker  can  throw  some  light  on 
the  subject."  I  can  only  say  I  have  often  noticed  young  birds  of  this 
species  marked  with  white  or  dirty  white  about  the  face,  these  markings 
being  usually  small  white  patches  at  the  base  of  the  upper  and  lower 
mandibles.  Others  have  the  white  extending  from  the  bill  to  the  eyes. 
These  markings  are  invariably  lost  during  the  autumn,  and  are  not 
reassumed  till  the  bird  is  very  much  advanced  in  years,  and  then  only  in 
the  females,  so  far  as  I  have  noticed.  This  marking  in  old  birds  must  be 
very  rare,  as  in  the  many  hundreds  I  liave  seen  I  have  only  noticed  it  once; 
and  Mr.  Hall,  who  has  shot  these  ducks  for  fifty  years,  was  very  much 
struck  with  it,  he  never  having  seen  one  ijefore.     I  shall  (all  being  well). 


during  the  coming  summer  and  autumn,  have  the  opportunity  of  seeing  a 
good  many  of  these  ducks,  and  will  ascertain  the  percentage  of  these 
varieties.  The  Tufted  Ducks  are  in  full  breeding  plumage  at  the  end  of 
March,  and  have  a  very  pleasant  note,  or  number  of  notes,  during  the 
pairing- time.  As  nearly  as  I  can  render  them  they  are  "  tuc,  tuc,  tuck ; 
quit,  quit,  quitta ;  ivheeou,  ivliit;  quit,  quit,  quee." — J.  Whitaker  (Rain- 
worth,  near  Mansfield). 

Blackcap  in  Co.  Waterford  in  January.  —  I  can  supplement  Mr. 
Ussher's  note  in  the  January  number  of  'The  Zoologist'  (p.  S7).  Since 
January  19th  a  male  Blackcap  frequented  a  garden  in  the  suburbs  of 
Waterford.  He  came  several  times  daily  to  a  window-sill  of  the  adjacent 
house  for  food  in  the  shape  of  crumbs  and  scraps  of  meat,  which  were 
spread  there  for  small  birds.  With  these  he  kept  up  a  constant  warfare,  and 
with  such  success  that  they  forsook  the  sill  which  he  generally  frequented. 
This  bird  was  found  dead  on  a  gravel-path,  close  to  its  usual  haunts,  on 
February  13th,  though  there  was  no  appearance  of  injury  of  any  kind. — 
J.  N.  White  (Rocklands,  Co.  Waterford). 

Wood  Pigeons  casting  up  Pellets.  —  Referring  to  Mr.  Mann's  note 
under  this  head  (p.  193),  I  would  suggest  that  probably  the  Wood  Pigeon 
casts  up  "pellets"  only  at  certain  seasons  of  the  year,  i.e.,  when  it  has 
been  feeding  upon  certain  kinds  of  food.  A  few  days  ago  (May  14th) 
I  found  several  "  castings  "  of  this  bird,  composed  chiefly  of  the  husks  of 
oats.  Rooks  at  this  season  eject  a  vast  number  of  "  pellets,"  composed  of 
grain  shells,  and  they  never  cast  up  pellets,  I  believe,  when  their  diet  does 
not  consist  chiefly  of  grain,  unless  possibly  they  reject  the  wing-cases 
of  beetles,  and  other  similar  substances. — E.  W.  H.  Blagg  (Cheadle, 

A  new  Egg-drill. — I  have  forwarded  an  egg-drill  which  was  made  for 
me  by  the  Dental  Manufacturing  Company,  6,  Lexington  Street.  I  believe 
they  call  it  a  "burr,"  but  it  has  to  be  specially  made,  for  in  a  similar 
instrument  used  by  dentists  the  point  is  not  sharp  (its  use  being,  1  believe, 
to  enlarge  cavities  for  filling).  It  is  certainly  far  and  away  the  best  drill 
I  have  ever  used,  as  an  infinitesimal  amount  of  pressure  is  sufficient  to 
make  the  necessary  hole.  I  may  mention,  not  as  an  example  of  any  skill 
on  my  part,  but  in  commendation  of  the  instrument,  that  I  have  bored  a 
moorhen's  egg  with  175  holes  witliout  breaking  the  egg.  T  have  also  had 
a  similar  di'ill  made,  half  an  inch  in  diameter,  for  embryotomy  in  large  eggs. 
— Heubekt  Langton  (115,  Queen's  Road,  Brighton). 

[We  have  tested  the  drill  in  question,  for  which  we  are  much  obliged, 
and  have  found  it  a  veiy  efficient  instrument.  It  is  so  well  balanced 
that  with  ordinary  care  fracture  of  an  egg  when  drilling  it  is  well-nigh 
impossible. — Ed.1 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  237 


Varieties  of  the  Viper.— -I  have  just  seen  four  Vipers,  Pelias  herus, 
which  were  killed  on  the  hills  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Reigate.  In  three 
of  them  the  dorsal  line  was  of  a  brickdust  colour,  but  in  one  of  them  it  was 
very  nearly  black.  In  all  the  specimens  the  ground  colour  was  brownish 
yellow.  The  country  folks  here — and  I  daresay  elsewhere — regard  these 
varieties  as  distinct  species,  and  call  them  them  the  "  red"  and  the  "  black" 
adder  respectively.  The  "  red  adder "  is  credited  with  red  eyes,  and  a 
greater  fierceness  of  disposition  and  a  deadlier  poison-fang  than  the  black 
variety.  The  difference  of  colour  is  also  sometimes  regarded  as  indicating 
a  difference  of  sex,  the  "black  adder"  being  the  male.  Is  there  any  ground 
for  this  supposition  ?  In  the  case  I  have  mentioned  the  "  black"  specimen 
was  undoubtedly  smaller  than  any  of  the  red  ones.  A  full-grown  mouse, 
perfectly  undigested,  was  found  inside  the  former."  These  snakes  were 
killed  on  account  of  their  fat,  for  which  chemists  give — or  used  to  give — 
five  shillings  an  ounce.  The  fat  is  supposed  to  be  a  specific  not  only  for 
adder-bites,  but  for  all  wounds  and  sores. — E.  P.  Larken  (Gatton  Tower, 

[If  our  correspondent  would  kindly  procure  some  of  these  varieties,  and 
forward  them  in  "  pickle-bottles "  filled  with  spirit,  they  would  be  very 
acceptable  for  the  Natural  History  Museum,  South  Kensington. — Ed.] 


Axius  Btirhynchus  in  Cornwall.  —  Mr.  Fortescue  Millett  in  March 
last  obtained  on  Marazion  beach,  from  under  a  stone  just  above  low- water 
mark,  a  specimen  of  Axius  stirhynchus  (a  female,  in  berry),  which  was 
placed  alive  in  his  aquarium.  The  occurrence  (or  rather  the  observation) 
of  this  crustacean  on  our  coast  is  exceedingly  rare. — Thomas  Cobxish 


Practical  Entomology  at  South  Kensington.— The  Natural  History 
branch  of  the  British  Museum  in  Cromwell  Road  has  just  received  a  most 
important  donation  from  Lord  Walsingham,  consisting  of  a  collection  of 
Lepidoptera  with  their  larvae,  mainly  British  butterflies  {Bhopalocera)  and 
certain  families  of  moths  (Heterocera),  including  SpJiiiu/idcB,  Bonihijces, 
Pseudohomhyces,  NoctucB,  OeometridcB,  and  Fyrcdida.  There  is  also  a  fine 
series  of  Indian  species,  collected  and  preserved  at  Dharmsala,  in  the 
Punjab,  by  the  Rev.  John  H.  Hocking,  and  specimens  of  Exotic  silk- 
producing  Bombyces,  in  various  stages  of  their  development,  obtained  mostly 
from  Mons.  Wailly.  With  very  few  exceptions,  the  British  larvae,  which 
retain  a  most  life-like  appearance,  and  are  placed  upon  models  of  the  plants 
upon  which  tbey  feed,  have  been  prepared  and  mounted  by  Lord  Walsingham 


himself;  the  process  adopted  having  been  inflation  of  the  empty  skin 
of  the  caterpillar  by  means  of  a  glass  tube  and  india-rubber  spray-blower 
over  a  spirit-lamp  guarded  by  wire  gauze.  This  has  been  found  a  simpler 
and  quicker  process,  and  one  admitting  of  more  satisfactory  manipulation, 
than  the  alternative  system  of  baking  by  means  of  heated  metal  plates  or 
ovens.  The  specimens  have  mostly  retained  their  natural  colour,  but  in 
the  case  of  the  bright  green  species  it  has  been  found  necessary  to  introduce 
a  little  artificial  dry  pigment.  The  whole  collection  consists  of  2540 
specimens  of  larvae,  belonging  to  776  species,  together  witli  a  series  of 
the  perfect  insects  of  each  species.  As  continued  exposure  to  light  is, 
unfortunately,  most  detrimental  to  the  colour  of  insects,  this  collection 
cannot  be  exhibited  permanently  ;  but,  for  the  advantage  of  those  who  would 
like  to  see  it  without  any  restriction,  it  has  been  placed  in  the  eutrauce- 
hall  of  the  Museum  for  a  period  of  six  weeks,  from  May  16th  to  June  25th, 
so  as  to  include  the  Whitsuntide  holidays  and  the  Jubilee  week. 

Bees  occupying  a  Bird's  Nest.— When  taking  a  walk  through  some 
woods  near  Taunton  I  came  across  a  nest  of  the  Loug-tailed  Tit,  Acredula 
caudata,  which  was  quite  new,  but  when  I  came  to  look  for  the  entrance 
I  could  not  find  one  anywhere;  so  I  removed  the  top  of  the  nest  (which 
was  fully  lined  with  feathers  and  ready  for  eggs),  and  found  in  the  middle 
a  piece  of  comb  about  the  size  of  a  plum,  together  with  several  wild  bees. 
I  have  not  unfreqnently  found  old  nests  of  the  Wren  occupied  by  Bees, 
but  I  have  never  before  discovered  newly-built  nests  tenanted  by  them. 
Has  anybody  else  noticed  this  unusual  habit? — A.  H.  Buceland  (4,  East 
Street,  Taunton). 


Zoological  Society  of  London. 

May  3,  1887. — Dr.  E.  Hamilton,  Vice-President,  in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to 
the  Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  April,  and  called  attention 
to  two  Polar  Bears,  Ursus  maritlmus,  presented  by  Mr.  Joseph  Monteith ; 
and  to  two  Crested  Ducks,  Anas  ciistata,  from  the  Falkland  Islands, 
presented  by  Mr.  F.  E.  Cobb. 

Extracts  were  read  from  a  letter  addressed  to  the  Secretary  by 
Mr.  Roland  Trimen,  respecting  the  obtaining  of  a  second  example  of 
Laniarins  atrocroceus  in  South  Africa. 

Mr.  J.  Jenner  Weir  exhibited  and  made  remarks  on  a  skull  of  a  Boar 
from  New  Zealand. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  G.  A.  Boulenger,  containing  the 
description  of  a  new  Snake  of  the  genus  Lamprophis,  based  on  a  specimen 


living  in  the  Society's  Gardens,  which  had  been  presented  to  the  collection 
by  the  Rev.  G.  H.  R.  Fisk. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  J.  H.  Leech,  containing  an  account 
of  the  Diurnal  Lepidoptera  of  Japan  and  Gorea,  based  on  a  collection 
recently  made  by  tlie  author  during  a  recent  entomological  expedition  to 
those  countries.  The  total  number  of  species  in  Mr.  Leech's  list  was  155. 
In  Japan  Mr.  Leech  had  discovered  one  new  species,  Papilio  mikado,  and 
in  Corea  four  others. 

Mr.  R.  Bowdler  Sharpe  gave  an  account  of  a  second  collection  of  birds 
formed  by  Mr.  L.  Wray  in  the  mountains  of  Perak,  Malay  Peninsula.  This 
collection  contained  examples  of  about  fifty  species,  of  which  ten  were 
described  as  new  to  science. 

Mr.  H.  J.  Elwes  pointed  out  the  characters  of  some  new  species  of 
Dinrual  Lepidoptera,  specimens  of  which  had  been  obtained  by  him  during 
his  recent  visit  to  Sikkim. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  Lionel  de  Niceville,  containing  an 
account  of  some  new  or  little-known  Indian  Butterflies. — P.  L.  Sclater, 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

May  4,  1887.— Dr.  D.  Sharp,  F.Z.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

The  Rev.  C.  Ellis-Stevens,  B,D.,  of  Brooklyn,  New  York,  U.S.A.; 
Mr.  Frederic  Merrifield,  of  24,  Vernon  Terrace,  Brighton  ;  Mr.  Henry 
Rowland  Brown,  B.A.,  of  Oxhey  Grove,  Stanmore;  and  Mr.  Coryndon 
Matthews,  of  Ivybridge,  Devon,  were  elected  Fellows. 

Mr.  Wm.  Warren  exhibited  specimens  of  Stigmonota  pallifrontana, 
S.  internana,  Asthenia  pyymaiana  (Hiib.),  and  A.  ahiegana  (Dup.)  [subse- 
quana.  Haw.). 

Mr.  Stainton  remarked  that  the  two  last-named  species,  Asthenia 
pygmcRana  and  A.  ahiegana,  both  had  white  underwings,  and  were  in  other 
respects  very  similar.  It  was  formerly  thought  that  Haworth's  suhsequana 
was  identical  with  the  species  previously  figured  by  Hiibner  &s  pygmaana ; 
but  now  that  the  two  allied  species  were  critically  examined  it  appeared 
that  the  species  described  by  Haworth  as  suhsequana  was  not  Hiibner's 
pygmaana,  but  another  species  known  as  the  abiegana  of  Duponchel,  dating 
only  fiom  1842,  so  that  Haworth's  name  suhsequana  had  priority  by  30  years. 

Mr.  F.  Pascoe  exhibited  a  specimen  of  Diaxines  Taylori  (Wath.),  taken 
out  of  the  stem  of  an  orcliid — SaccolahiiDu  ca;leste — growing  in  an  orcliid- 
house  at  Croydon,  and  received  from  Moulmein,  in  Burmah. 

Mr.  M'Lachlan  exhibited  nearly  two  hundred  specimens  of  Neuroptera, 
in  beautiful  condition,  collected  by  Mr.  E.  Meyrick  in  various  parts  of 
Australia  and  Tasmania,  comprising  about  seventy  species.  There  were 
between  forty  and  fifty  species  of  Trichoptera,  including  moth-like  forms 


from  Western  Australia,  allied  to  Plectrotarsus,  Kol. ;  and  other  species 
belonging  to  a  group  represented  by  Hydropsyche  Edwardsii  (M'Lach.). 
Among  the  Planipennia  the  most  remarkable  insect  was  a  new  species  of 
the  singular  genus  Psychopsis  (Newm.),  from  Mount  Kosciusko,  where  it 
was  common.  Of  Pseudo-Neuroptera  there  was  a  species  of  EmbiidcB 
from  Western  Australia,  and  certain  curious  Psocidm  and  Perlidm.  The 
Trichoptera  appeared  to  be  exclusively  confined  to  Sericostomatidm,  Lepto- 
ceridcB,  and  Hydropsycldda.  Mr.  Meyrick  made  some  remarks  on  the 
localities  in  which  he  had  collected  the  species. 

Mr.  M.  Jacoby  exhibited  three  specimens  of  a  new  species  oi Xenarthra, 
collected  by  Mr.  G.  Lewis  in  Ceylon ;  also  a  species  of  Loxoprosopus  from 

Mr.  C.  0.  Waterhouse  exhibited  a  living  example  of  an  Ichneumon — 
Ophion  mucruriun — bred  from  a  larva  of  Callosamia  proniethea,  a  North- 
American  species  of  SatiirnidcE.  He  also  exhibited  a  number  of  wings  of 
Lepidoptera  denuded  of  the  scales,  in  order  to  show  the  neuration  for  study, 
and  explained  the  method  he  had  adopted  for  removing  the  scales.  The 
wings  were  first  dipped  in  spirit  and  then  placed  in  eau  de  javelle  (potassium 
hyperchlorite).  Mr.  Waterhouse  said  lie  had  sometimes  substituted  per- 
oxide of  hydrogen  for  eau  de  javelle,  but  the  action  was  much  less  rapid, 
although  the  results  were  satisfactory. 

Mr.  Poulton  observed  that,  although  the  pigment  had  disappeared,  he 
thought  the  scales  were  not  removed,  but  were  merely  rendered  transparent; 
and  he  remarked  that  the  discovery  of  some  chemical  for  softening  chitiue 
had  long  been  wanted  to  prepare  specimens  for  the  microscope.  The 
discussion  was  continued  by  Mr.  M'Lachlau  and  Dr.  Sharp. 

Mr.  Slater  read  a  note,  extracted  from  the  '  Medical  Press,'  on  the 
subject  of  the  poison  used  by  certain  tribes  of  African  Bushmen  in  the 
preparation  of  their  arrows.  It  was  stated  that  a  poison  was  prepared  by 
them  from  the  entrails  of  a  caterpillar  which  they  called  "  N'gwa." 

The  Rev.  W.  W.  Fowler  read  a  note  received  from  Mr.  J.  Gardner,  of 
Hartlepool,  in  which  it  was  stated  that  Dytiscus  marginaUs  possessed  the 
power  of  making  a  loud  buzzing  noise  like  that  of  a  humble  bee. 

Dr.  Sharp  said  he  was  familiar  with  the  humming  of  Dytiscus  mar- 
ginaUs previous  to  flight,  and  thought  it  might  perhaps  be  connected  with 
an  inflation  of  the  body  for  the  purpose  of  diminisbing  the  specific  gravity 
of  the  insect ;  he  had  noticed  also  that  it  was  occasionally  accompanied  by 
the  discharge  of  fluid  from  the  body. 

Mr.  Wm.  White  read  a  paper  "  On  the  occurrence  of  anomalous  spots 
on  Lepidopteious  larvse."  A  discussion  ensued,  in  which  Mr.  Poulton, 
and  others  took  part. 

Mr.  Waterhouse  read  "  Descriptions  of  new  genera  and  species  of 
BuprestidcB." — H.  Goss,  Hon.  Secretary. 


Vol.  XL]  JULY,    1887.  [No.  J 27. 


By  Matthias  Dunn.* 

When  full-grown.  Pollack  have  very  peculiar  traits,  apparently 
combining  in  one  species  the  habits  of  more  than  one  of  the  Gadidce, 
sometimes  showing  the  intense  love  of  locality  of  the  Bib,  and  at 
another  evincing  all  the  wild  and  roving  disposition  of  the  Hake. 
Thus  for  months  together  in  spring  and  summer  Pollack  generally 
live  in  a  uniform  hunt-and-rest  life,  congregating  by  day  around 
the  rocky  ledges  of  the  sea-bottom  near  the  deepest  water,  circling 
around  a  certain  spot,  and  often  in  such  numbers  as  to  appear 
like  a  living  column  standing  in  the  sea.  At  such  times  these 
creatures  seem  to  be  resting  or  sleeping  (as  most  fish  sleep), 
probably  with  one  half  or  more  of  their  senses  and  functions  of 
the  body  really  at  rest.  When  in  this  state  Pollack  will  not 
attack  or  prey  on  the  smaller  fishes  unless  they  come  very  near 
or  within  the  circle. 

With  the  night  the  scene  changes ;  then,  thoroughly  awake, 
every  Pollack  leaves  the  circle,  and,  hungry  and  ravenous,  each 
steals  away  to  hunt  on  his  own  account.  But  few  living  fishes 
come  amiss  to  their  stomachs.  With  the  morning  light  all  return 
to  their  old  haunts. 

*  Communicated  to  the  Polytechnic  Society,  Falmouth.  The  names  of 
fish  adopted  are  those  employed  by  Couch. 

ZOOLOGIST. JULY,   1887.  U 


In  the  autumn  this  systematic  life  may  be  broken  up  at 
any  time  by  the  passing  near  to  the  reef  of  a  shoal  of  Sprats, 
Pilchards,  or  Anchovies.  The  sight  of  these  calls  forth  all 
the  wolfish  i^ropensities  of  the  Pollack,  which  steal  away  after 
them,  leaving  the  ledge  probably  for  ever  to  gorge  on  these 
small  fry. 

The  autumn  migrations  of  the  Pilchard  afford  a  grand  time 
for  the  Pollack.  Then  almost  every  circle  on  the  coast  is  broken 
up,  especially  in  the  undisturbed  haunts  around  the  Land's  End 
and  Scilly  Isles,  and  they  continue  to  follow  the  shoals  along  the 
coast,  and  often  far  up  the  English  Channel,  keeping  to  the  high 
ground  when  seeking  rest,  but  always  with  their  eyes  on  the 
object  of  their  pursuit,  and  seldom  taking  to  settled  life  again 
until  some  time  after  spawning  in  March. 

When  catching  prey  the  habit  of  the  Pollack  is  to  sneak  along 
quietly  until  within  darting  distance  of  their  object ;  then  calling 
into  use  their  powerful  fins  they  dart  like  arrows  on  their  victims. 
This  is  also  their  habit  in  taking  the  bait.  There  is  no  coaxing 
or  waiting  on  the  part  of  the  fisherman  for  them  to  swallow  it,  as 
with  the  Hake  or  Conger ;  as  a  rule,  they  rush  like  a  Salmon 
taking  a  fly. 

As  to  the  question  whether  the  food  of  the  Pollack  is 
swallowed  head  or  tail  first,  I  think  that  all  dead  and  wounded 
fish  are  taken  into  the  stomach  as  they  are  found,  but  all  live 
food  is  swallowed  head  foremost,  those  not  caught  in  this  way 
being  turned  in  the  mouth.  There  is  more  readiness  with  the 
mouth  of  fish  than  is  generally  supposed.  I  have  seen  Pollack 
stop  short  in  their  dart  at  food,  and  play  it  in  and  out  of  their 
mouths,  as  if  tasting  it,  finally  leaving  it— such  food  being 
probably  stale,  or  sodden  with  water.  The  chief  reason  why  the 
Pollack  swallows  live  food  head  downward  is  that  it  does  not  bite 
or  tear  its  food  in  pieces  like  the  Carnivora,  but  simply  swallows 
it  alive,  often  without  a  scratch.  If  the  head  were  upwards  in 
the  stomach,  no  doubt  the  little  fellows  would  force  their  way 
out  again  while  the  Pollack  was  in  the  act  of  securing  other  prey. 
How  long  they  remain  alive  in  the  stomach  of  the  larger  Gadidce 
— for  all  take  their  food  in  the  same  manner — it  is  difficult 
to  say.  I  have  known  Pollack  drawn  up  from  a  depth  of  eighty 
feet,  and  taken  into  the  boat  and  killed,  and  on  being  opened 
I  have    seen    Pilchards   and    Herrings    taken    alive   from   their 


stomachs.     These  fishes  must  have  been  secured  and  swallowed 
some  time  before  the  Pollack  took  the  fatal  bait. 

Young  Pollack  do  not  take  to  circling  until  above  four  pounds 
weight,  probably  in  the  third  year  of  their  existence.  Before  that 
time  they  may  be  found  on  any  rocky  bottom,  but  more  especially 
where  the  ground  is  very  rough  near  the  shore. 

When  shoals  of  Sprats  or  Lav;nces  appear,  the  Pollack  will 
congregate  also  in  shoals,  and  with  a  rush  attack  them.  An 
evening  rout  once  seen  will  hardly  be  forgotten,  for  they  will 
dart  against  the  sides  of  a  boat,  if  in  the  line  of  their  attack,  when 
on  their  hungry  errand. 

When  about  four  months  old,  before  taking  the  bait,  they 
may  often  be  seen  to  put  their  lips  against  the  line,  and  in  this 
manner  to  swim  along  and  trace  it  up  to  the  surface  of  the  sea ; 
they  are  seldom  caught  after  tracing  the  line. 

Again,  on  some  of  the  extensive  ledges  off  our  coasts,  it  has 
been  found  that  all  Pollack  do  not  concentrate  on  one  spot,  but 
several  circles  may  be  found  on  one  ledge.  That  each  fish  in 
these  circles  has  a  knowledge  of  locality  and  of  its  own  haunt 
may  be  learnt  from  the  fuel  that  tlie  practical  fisherman,  in  some 
instances,  knows  where  these  circles  may  be  found,  and  will  fish 
on  the  best  of  them  when  it  suits  his  purpose  ;  and  although  he 
may  catch  all  the  fish  in  one  circle,  and  days  may  pass  between 
his  fishing  on  the  other  parts  of  the  reef,  it  will  be  found 
that  this  has  in  no  way  lessened  the  numbers  living  in  the 
other  circles.  Although,  being  night-feeders,  the  fish  must  of 
necessity,  when  hunting  the  ledge,  pass  by  and  over  this  depopu- 
lated haunt,  the  old  associations  are  too  strong  for  them  to  think 
of  occupying  it. 

Many  fishes  have  the  power  of  changing  their  colour,  and 
adapting  themselves  to  the  nature  of  the  ground  on  which  they 
are  living.  This  has  been  noticed  in  the  Pollack.  Those  living 
on  the  reefs  where  the  long  dark  Laminaria  sea-weed  abounds 
will  be  found  to  be  of  a  dark  olive,  varying  very  little  from  the 
colour  of  the  weeds ;  while  those  found  in  deeper  water,  where 
the  rocks  are  lighter,  will  be  very  much  of  their  colour.  This 
is  also  observable  in  young  Pollack,  which,  when  food  is  scarce, 
will  entirely  leave  the  rocky  and  weedy  sea-bottom,  and  hover 
around  the  brown  sands  in  which  the  Sand  Launce  takes  up  its 
night-quarters.     It  will  then  be  seen  that  these  Pollack  are  quite 


brown  in  colour — in  fact,  are  the  very  shade  of  the  sand  over 
which  they  have  been  swimming. 

In  the  spring  of  the  year  the  little  red  Pollack  may  be  found 
inshore.  They  have  a  decided  tinge  of  red  in  the  fins,  and 
sometimes  streaks  of  red  running  down  through  the  olive  of  the 
belly ;  while  others  are  dark  orange  along  the  sides  and  belly, 
mottled  with  blue  spots  and  streaks.  Couch,  in  his  '  British 
Fishes,'  remarks  on  small  Pollack  being  bright  orange  on  the 
sides,  caused  by  living  in  the  shelter  of  the  rocks  clothed  with 
sea-weeds.  But  this  red  colour  can  scarcely  arise  from  this 
cause,  seeing  that  three  had  a  decided  tinge  of  red  when  caught, 
and  these  were  from  the  surface  of  the  sea,  not  from  the  rocks. 
I  have  seen  Pollack  as  much  as  seven  pounds  weight  with 
a  red  tinge  in  the  fins  and  red  markings  running  down  their 

A  coating  of  transparent  mucus  envelopes  the  whole  fish ;  in 
summer  it  is  reduced  to  a  very  thin  film  ;  in  winter  it  increases 
to  more  than  the  sixteenth  of  an  inch  in  thickness,  and  no  doubt 
protects  the  fish  in  cold  weather. 

Diseases. — These  seem  to  be  very  few  in  the  Pollack.  One 
form  is  the  wasting  of  the  liver,  caused  by  the  boring  though  it 
of  the  parasite,  Filaria  x>iscmm.  Another  disease  is  like  that 
which  is  so  common  to  the  Cod,  Bream,  Mackerel,  and  Garfish, 
viz.,  curvature  of  the  spine.  Pollack  afi'ected  with  this  disease 
seldom  reach  five  pounds  in  weight,  while  full-grown,  well-fed  fish 
have  been  known  to  attain  to  twenty-four  pounds. 

Parasites. — Very  few  of  these  are  found  on  the  Pollack, 
probably  from  their  living  so  near  to  suitable  places  for  scraping 
them  oS:  the  large  close-standing  stems  of  some  of  the  olive  sea- 
weeds and  the  projecting  points  of  rock  are  admirably  suited  for 
this  purpose.  A  very  common  expression  with  fisher-boys,  when 
fishing  for  young  Pollack  near  shore  in  clear  water  and  expecting 
a  bite,  is,  "  Look  out !  I  saw  a  Pollack  turn  bright  side  up."  The 
idea  conveyed  is  that  a  Pollack  is  close  by,  and  may  be  expected 
to  take  the  bait ;  and  this  turning  "  bright  side  up,"  which  they 
often  do,  by  scraping  their  backs  along  the  weeds  and  rocks, 
is  no  doubt  the  act  of  raking  off  the  parasites.  I  only  know 
three  parasites  common  to  this  species — the  LepeojJtheirus ;  the 
young  of  a  sessile-eyed  crustacean  belonging  to  a  species  of 
Cirolana  (the  latter  is  also  found  in  great  numbers  in  the  Red 


Mullet);   and  Filaria  piscium,  discoverable  in  the  cavity  of  the 

Enemies. — Gulls  and  Guillemots  destroy  immense  quantities 
of  Pollack  when  very  young— just  after  being  hatched.  When  a 
month  old  they  live  on  the  surface  of  the  sea,  keeping  close  to  all 
kinds  of  floating  debris.  At  such  times  the  sea-birds  scarcely 
everleave]them.  Porpoises  also  often  attack  them.  It  is  nothing 
uncommon  in  clear  water  close  to  shore  to  see  the  Porpoises  dart 
along  the  sides  of  the  rocks  and  devour  them.  In  the  summer  of 
1878,  when  the  fishing-boat  'F.  H.,'  of  Mevagissey,  was  passing 
over  the  high  ledges  off  the  Gribben  Head,  Cornwall,  the  crew 
saw  a  shoal  of  Porpoises  attack  a  circle  of  large  Pollack,  killing 
scores  of  them.  They  tacked  the  boat,  and  took  up  quantities  of 
large  fish,  the  Porpoises  having  destroyed  more  than  they  could 
eat.  Sometimes  when  going  at  full  speed  a  Porpoise  will  seize  a 
Pollack,  and  play  with  it  as  a  cat  will  with  a  mouse,  and  by  some 
power  unknown  to  me  throw  it  three  or  four  feet  out  of  the  water 
forward,  the  next  instant  catching  it  again  in  its  jaws.  I  have 
known  this  done  four  or  five  times  in  succession  with  a  Pollack 
of  about  three  pounds  weight.  A  Porpoise  will  sometimes  seize 
a  large  Pollack  by  the  middle  with  his  powerful  jaws,  and  other 
Porpoises  will  swim  around  and  eat  the  poor  victim  alive  from 
the  mouth  of  the  holder. 

These  savage  creatures,  no  doubt,  are  the  cause  of  the 
skulking  habits  of  the  Pollack,  so  annoying  to  the  amateur 
fisherman ;  for  this  fish  when  hooked  will,  if  possible,  rush  away 
from  his  enemies  in  among  the  large  sea-weeds,  or  into  some 
sheltered  hole  in  the  rocky  sea-bottom,  so  that  the  amateur  with 
his  fine  gear  is  often  unable  to  draw  him  out.  Our  fishermen, 
when  after  large  Pollack,  go  in  the  day-time  where  the  fish  are 
circling.  The  crew  consists  of  two  men,  each  provided  with  sixty 
fathoms  three-quarter  pound  lines,  with  snooding  six  feet  long. 
One  of  these  is  used  without  a  sinker,  the  other  with  it.  The 
lines  used  in  this  way  will  cover  a  greater  amount  of  ground  than 
any  other  from  a  stationary  boat,  and  thus  enable  the  fishermen 
to  correct  any  slight  error  made  in  anchoring  on  the  circling 
ground,  as  it  is  impossible  to  be  successful  in  fishing  by  day 
unless  the  baits  go  right  into  the  circle.  The  baits  should  be 
Mackerel,  Pilchards,  Cuttles,  or  young  Bream. 

A  fisherman  can  always  tell  the  kind  of  fish  he  has  to  his  line 


by  its  actions  on  the  hook.  Every  fish  has  its  own  peculiar 
action :  thus  tiie  Pollack  when  hooked  starts  off  at  a  sharp  angle 
for  the  sea-bottom,  and  if  prevented  from  reaching  it,  will  then 
try  to  get  away  by  force,  and  acts  very  much  like  a  flying  kite  on 
being  pulled  to  the  ground.  The  fishermen  call  it  "  shearing 
about."  After  failing  to  free  itself  by  this  mode,  it  suddenly  turns 
and  darts  towards  the  boat,  at  the  same  time  disgorging  the 
contents  of  its  stomach  by  turning  it  inside  out,  hoping  by  these 
means  to  clear  out  the  hook. 

For  small  Pollack  the  most  successful  mode  of  capture  is 
"  whiffing."  This  operation  is  carried  on  by  two  men  ;  one  rowing 
a  small  boat  about  two  miles  an  hour,  the  other  attending  to  one 
or  two  lines  towed  without  sinkers  over  the  stern.  The  bait 
should  be  a  thin  slice  cut  from  the  tail  of  a  Mackerel  or  Pil- 
chard ;  worms  from  the  sea-beach  or  small  eels ;  or  artificial 
baits,  as  supplied  by  Hearder  or  Brooks,  of  Plymouth.  The 
most  successful  "whiffer"  I  ever  knew  fished  with  an  angling- 
rod  over  the  quarter  of  the  boat  with  the  line  weighted,  the 
snooding  entirely  of  catgut,  and  with  artificial  baits.  Small  fish 
are  also  often  caught  in  trammels,  ground-nets,  and  seines,  when 
used  for  Mackerel  and  Red  Mullet.  Pollack  a  few  months  old 
will  rise  to  the  fly. 

Breeding. — In  many  fishes  the  procreative  instinct  is  active 
some  months  before  actual  sj^awning  commences,  as  in  the 
Herring  and  Pilchard.  This  has  been  noted  under  two  aspects. 
The  first  is  extreme  restlessness  and  change  of  locality,  until  a 
suitable  spawning-ground  is  found.  The  second  is  a  state  of 
quietude,  and  only  the  taking  of  such  food  as  will  keep  the  body 
in  its  normal  condition.  These  phases  of  life  may  be  discerned 
in  more  than  one  species  of  fish.  We  can  scarcely  trace  the 
former  in  the  Pollack,  but  we  believe  we  cau  the  latter.  For 
although  so  active  and  voracious  in  autumn,  but  little  is  seen  of 
them  in  February  and  March,  although  from  long  observation  we 
are  certain  March  is  the  general  time  of  those  fish  spawning  off 
our  coasts.  That  they  are  then  living  not  far  from  land  may  be 
concluded  from  the  fact  that  they  may  be  found  only  a  few  miles 
off  the  coast  in  April,  thin  and  hungry ;  while  about  the  middle 
of  the  same  month  young  Pollack,  just  escaped  from  the  egg, 
may  be  seen  on  the  surface  of  the  sea,  close  to  land.  That 
the  eggs  float  on  the  surface  when  shed  seems  probable,  seeing 


that  the  liver  of  a  full-grown  Pollack  is  very  large,  and  contains 
several  ounces  of  oil,  all  of  which  escapes  among  the  eggs  at  the 
time  of  spawning,  and  no  doubt  helps  to  float  them.  It  is  also  a 
fact  that  the  oil  leaves  the  liver  of  all  the  fish  of  the  species  at 
the  time  of  spawning.  Like  all  the  Gaclidce,  the  Pollack  carries 
a  large  number  of  eggs.  I  have  found  as  manj^  as  four  millions 
in  the  roe  of  a  Pollack  twelve  pounds  in  weight.  The  time  the 
eggs  take  to  hatch  cannot  be  stated  with  precision  ;  but  taking 
the  15th  of  March  as  the  average  date  of  the  parent  spawning, 
I  have  often  seen  young  Pollack  of  a  half-inch  in  length  from  the 
15th  to  the  20th  of  April,  which  could  not  be  more  than  from  ten 
to  fifteen  days  old.  This  will  make  the  period  of  hatching  from 
fourteen  to  eighteen  days. 

On  the  matter  of  spawning  and  incubation  of  fishes  there  is 
much  to  be  said.  Scientists  tell  us  that  the  spawning  of  Salmon 
in  the  British  Isles  continues  from  September  to  January,  and 
that  the  Herring  may  be  found  breeding  off  our  shores  in  every 
month  of  the  year.  But  this  statement  requires  qualification ; 
for  although  generally  true,  the  facts  do  not  apply  to  every  coast, 
since  each  locality  has  its  own  especial  time ;  thus  it  will  be 
found  that  Herrings  are  always  in  spawn  off  Plymouth  about 
the  first  of  January,  whereas  at  Mevagissey  the  great  Atlantic 
Herrings  do  not  spawn  until  the  10th  of  March.  Possibly  future 
researches  may  show  that  on  other  coasts  the  Pollack  may  spawn 
at  some  different  time. 

Growth. — On  this  subject  I  must  refer  to  my  specimens. 

No.  1  bottle  contains  several  young  Pollack,  from  a  half- 
inch  to  an  inch  long.  These  were  caught  in  Mevagissey  Bay 
on  May  4th,  about  fifty  yards  from  land,  on  the  surface  of  the 
sea,  close  to  some  floating  sea-weeds.  The  colours  are  not 
yet  diffused,  but  held  in  spots  and  stars;  the  fins  white  and 
transparent ;  and  no  scales  are  found  on  them  when  under 
three-quarters  of  an  inch  in  length.  The  largest  are  just  an 
inch  long,  and  two  grains  in  weight.  I  estimate  them  to  be 
about  a  month  old. 

No.  2  contains  young  Pollack  caught  near  the  same  place, 
close  to  the  bottom  of  the  sea,  on  June  8rd.  Taking  the  average 
of  two  of  the  largest,  it  will  give  a  Pollack  one  inch  and  three- 
quarters  long  and  eleven  grains  in  weight.  It  will  now  be  observed 
that  they  have  all  their  fins  and  colours  perfect,  and  are  fairly  on 


the  line  of  living  as  the  parent  fishes.     These  I  estimate  to  be 
two  months  old. 

No.  3  contains  young  Pollack  caught  at  the  same  place  as 
above,  on  July  6th.  The  two  largest  give  an  average  fish  of 
three  inches  long  and  sixty  grains  in  weight,  and  estimated  at 
three  months  old. 

No.  4  contains  young  Pollack  from  the  same  place,  caught 
on  August  14th.  These  two  give  an  average  length  of  five 
inches,  and  325  grains  in  weight,  and  are  estimated  to  be  four 
months  old. 

No.  5  bottle  has  two  young  Pollack  caught  at  Mevagissey  on 
the  25th  of  September,  1884.  Average  five  inches  and  six-eighths 
in  length,  and  362  grains  in^weight.  These  are  probably  a  little 
over  five  months  old. 

I  give  these  lengths  and  weights  with  the  greatest  confidence, 
knowing  they  represent  the  monthly  growth  of  the  first  Pollack 
which  reached  the  shores  around  Mevagissey  for  the  year  1885, 
and  also,  with  very  little  change,  in  the  same  months  for  ten  years 
past.  These  little  creatures  are  as  familiar  to  me  as  barn-door 
fowls  are  to  the  farmer.  The  figures  show  the  increase  in  four 
months  to  be  one  hundred  times  their  original  weight. 

I  may  here  state  that  throughout  my  observations  on  these 
little  fishes  I  have  kept  to  those  which  first  reach  the  shore,  and 
these  throughout  the  season,  as  a  rule,  are  the  largest.  Some 
young  Pollack  do  not  float  in  for  two  or  three  weeks  after  the  first, 
probably  through  contrary  winds  and  tides,  or  later  spawning ; 
hence  these  will  be  behind  the  earlier  examples  in  growth  and 
condition  thi'oughout  the  season.  Besides  this  there  are  the 
accidents  of  food,  health,  and  other  conditions,  which  keep  some 
of  the  season's  fish  back  to  less  than  five  inches  in  length  up  to 
November,  and  after  this,  like  the  Mackerel  and  Red  Mullet, 
there  is  but  little,  if  any,  growth  among  the  young  Pollack  until 
the  following  May.  In  further  tracing  their  growth  it  will  be  seen 
that  the  summer  is  the  time  of  their  greatest  development,  and 
that  some  will  reach  maturity  in  the  third  and  others  in  the 
fourth  year  of  life. 

(    249     ) 



By  the  Right.  Hon.  Lokd  Lilford. 

Owing  to  the  circumstances  mentioned  in  my  last  com- 
munication on  Northamptonshire  birds  (Zool.  1886,  p.  465),  and 
my  leaving  Lilford  for  Bournemouth  (whence  I  now  write)  shortly 
afterwards,  the  following  notes  are  given  entirely  upon  the 
authority  of  correspondents,  of  whose  good  faith  in  every 
instance,  and  accuracy  of  identification  in  the  great  majority 
of  occurrences  quoted,  I  have  not  the  slightest  doubt. 

October  8th,  1886.  My  brother  saw  tAvo  Golden  Plovers  on 
an  old  pasture  near  Aldwinkle.  I  heard  reports  of  this  species 
being  seen  in  our  neighbourhood  in  the  latter  half  of  September, 
but  the  above  is  the  first  appearance  this  autumn,  of  which 
I  feel  quite  certain. 

Oct.  15th.  Four  Teal  were  brought  alive  from  our  decoy,  with 
twelve  Wild  Ducks. 

Oct.  28th.  Eight  Fieldfares  seen  at  Biggin,  near  Oundle, 
and  Grey  Crows, — "now  in  abundance  since  N.E.  wind," — at 
the  same  place,  reported  to  me  by  my  brother-in-law,  Mr.  T.  H. 

Oct.  30.  Donald  Mackay,  gamekeeper  at  Aldwinkle,  writes 
that  one  of  Lord  Lyveden's  keepers  flushed  two  Woodcocks  near 
Brigstock  on  Sept.  26th. 

November  1st.  Colonel  Irby  wrote  to  me  that  he  was  assured 
by  one  of  our  game-watchers  that  he  saw  one  of  three  Wild 
Ducks  suddenly  seized  and  taken  under  water  by  some  invisible 
foe  near  Pilton  Bridges,  within  a  short  distance  from  Lilford. 
I  have  no  doubt  that  an  Otter  was  the  "  secret  agent"  in  this 

Nov.  5th.  My  falconer  reported  the  sudden  appearance  about 
Lilford  of  a  great  number  of  Jays,  the  scarcity  of  which  species 
till  this  date  has  been  somewhat  remarkable. 

Nov.  6th.  Sir  Eainald  Knightley  wrote  to  me,  under  this 
date,  from  Fawsley,  near  Daventry,  as  follows  : — "  Last  year  we 
had  a  Night  Heron — at  least  it  was  exactly  like  the  picture  of 
that  bird  in  Gould.     It  remained  here  nearly  all  the  autumn, 


some  two  or  three  months,  but  left  when  the  frost  and  snow 
came.  But  to  my  surprise,  on  my  return  from  Scotland  a  few 
days  ago,  I  found  it  (or  anotlier  bird  exactly  like  it)  here  again. 
I  do  not  know  how  long  it  has  been  here,  as  I  have  been  away 
from  home  for  about  five  weeks."  {Gf.  my  note  of  July  13th, 
Zool.  1886,  p.  468).  Sir  Rainald  adds,  "  Crested  Grebe,  Podiceps 
cristattts,  have  nested  here  last  year  and  this." 

Nov.  16th.  I  received  a  letter  from  Captain  J.  A.  M.  Vipan, 
of  Stibbington  Hall,  near  Wansford,  in  which  he  states, 
"  Whilst  out  punting  on  the  Wash,  on  October  28th,  I  killed  a 
Eed-throated  Diver  with  the  red-throat  patch.  I  also  killed  a 
Black-throated  Diver  on  November  12th — the  first  I  have  ever 
seen  on  the  Wash." 

In  two  letters,  dated  respectively  Nov.  9th  and  16th,  Lieut. - 
Colonel  G.  Morgan,  writing  from  his  residence,  Biddlesden  Park, 
near  Brackley,  very  kindly  informed  me  that  "  The  late  Dr.  Leith 
Adams  once  spent  three  days  here.  He  was  especially  pleased 
with  the  Crested  Tits,  Parus  cristatus,  which  we  then  had  here, 
but  I  have  not  observed  them  for  four  or  five  years  past."  In  the 
second  letter  he  wrote,  in  reference  to  this  species,  "  Curiously 
enough,  my  son  saw  one  twice  on  Saturday  last,  and  I  believe 
I  saw  it  myself  on  Sunday  morning,  but  am  not  absolutely 
certain."  Colonel  Morgan's  house  stands  in  Buckinghamshire, 
close  to  the  river  Ouse,  which  there  forms  our  county  boundary, 
and  as  the  post  town  (Brackley)  is  in  Northamptonshire,  I 
consider  that  I  may  fairly  record  this  occurrence  in  these 

Nov.  14th.  Thirty  Wild  Geese  (sp.  ?)  seen  flying  over 
Achurch  in  an  easterly  direction.  Bramblings  seen  at  Ticli- 
marsh — first  report  of  the  species  in  our  neighbourhood  for 
this  season. 

Nov.  17th.  Twenty-two  Teal  out  of  twenty-nine,  and  eighteen 
Wild  Ducks,  out  of  about  one  hundred,  were  taken  in  our 

Nov.  18th.  My  falconer  wrote  under  this  date: — "I  have 
seen  eight  Siskins  and  six  Redpolls  by  the  river  (near  Lilford) 
last  week.  These  are  not  nearly  so  plentiful  as  they  were 
last  year." 

20th.  A  Great  Grey  Shrike,  Lanius  excuhitor,  was  picked 
up   dead    near   Aldwinkle   by    Lieut. -Colonel   Irby.      My   son, 


who  was  present  at  the  finding  of  this  bird,  wrote,  "It  had 
doubtless  been  taken  with  bird-Hme,  with  which  a  twig  close  by 
was  covered."  This  bird  was  sent  for  me  to  London  to  be 
preserved,  and  proved  to  be  a  young  female. 

December  9th.  I  received  a  very  handsome  and  peculiar 
female  hybrid  of  Common  Mallard,  Anas  hoschas,  and  A-ustralian 
Wild  Duck,  A.  superciliosa,  from  our  decoy.  The  upper  plumage, 
crown  of  head,  back  of  neck,  back,  wings,  and  tail  closely 
resemble  those  of  the  Common  Wild  Duck,  but  the  characteristic 
buff  superciliary  streak  of  the  Australian  is  strongly  developed, 
and  the  whole  of  the  lower  plumage  from  chin  to  tail  are  of  a 
rich  creamy  buff  colour.  I  sent  this  interesting  variety  to  the 
Natural  History  Museum,  South  Kensington.  I  may  mention 
that  I  have  for  many  years  kept  some  of  the  Australian  Wild 
Ducks  upon  the  aviary  ponds  at  Lilford,  and  that  many  of  our 
Wild  Ducks  show  "a  strain"  of  that  blood,  but  the  specimen 
above  described  is  the  first  variety  of  the  cross  that  has  hitherto 
come  to  my  hands. 

Dec.  30.  Under  this  date  my  decoyman  wrote  : — "  I  caught 
seven  Ducks  on  29th,  and  left  forty,  and  three  Wigeon,  in  the 
decoy.  There  were  three  Eed-headed  Dunbirds,  Fuligulaferina, 
in  the  decoy  on  24th." 

January  3rd,  1887.  The  Eev.  W.  Powys,  Eector  of  Achurch, 
wrote,  "  I  have  just  seen  a  Snow  Bunting  in  my  field."  My 
falconer  wrote  : — "  On  December  27th  a  Peregrine  Falcon  soared 
over  the  courtyard  for  five  minutes ;  her  attention  was  taken  up 
with  the  Kites  and  Buzzards  (in  the  home  aviary) :  she  came 
within  half  gun-shot  of  me.  I  afterwards  saw  her  chasing  the 
Wild  Ducks  up  and  down  the  river." 

Jan.  3rd.  The  decoyman  reported  fifteen  "Grey  Geese" 
(sp.  ?),  near  Aldwinkle. 

Jan.  5th.  "Great  flights  of  Sky  Larks  going  southwards; 
snow  seven  or  eight  inches  deep." — T.  H.  Burroughes,  Biggin, 

Jan.  6th.  Captain  Vipan  wrote  to  me  from  Sutton  Bridge  : — 
"  My  punter  last  Monday  came  across  a  tvliite  Mallard  in  a 
bunch  of  about  100.  To-day  some  thousands  of  Larks  passed 
over  the  Wash ;  all  seemed  very  tired.  There  were  also  a 
good  many  Bramblings,  one  of  which  settled  on  my  punter's 
head,  fell  off  on  to  the  floor  of  punt,  and  afterwards  flew  off; 


some  that  I  noticed  on  the  floating  ice  seemed  very  brilliant  in 

Jan.  7th.  Colonel  Irby  wrote  from  Wadenhoe,  "  I  saw  a 
Kedshank,  Totanus  calidris,  on  Wednesday."  The  Redshank 
visits  our  neighbourhood  occasionally  and  irregularly,  generally 
in  August  or  September  ;  but  I  consider  its  appearance  there  at 
this  time  of  year,  and  in  such  severe  weather,  as  well  worthy  of 

Jan.  13th.  A  Waxwing,  Amjjelis  garrulus,  seen  at  Stoke  Doyle, 
near  Oundle,  and  reported  to  me  on  excellent  authority. 

Jan.  18th.  My  falconer  wrote  : — "  About  half-past  four  on 
the  afternoon  of  12th,  when  I  went  to  take  in  the  Goshawk  from 
her  block,  I  found  her  fighting  with  a  Tawny  Owl.  I  got  hold  of 
it  at  once,  found  that  it  was  not  much  hurt,  and  placed  it  with 
the  others  (of  the  same  species)  in  the  Owl-house.  I  am  glad  to 
say  it  is  quite  well." 

Jan.  24th.  The  same  man  wrote :— "  I  have  often  seen 
Tawny  Owls  on  wing  about  here  this  winter  before  dark,  which 
I  think  is  very  unusual  for  these  birds." 

February  1st.  The  decoy-man  reported  "  quite  500  head  of 
wildfowl— Ducks,  Wigeon,  Teal,  and  Pochards"— on  our  flooded 
meadows  near  Thrapston;  the  decoy  impracticable  from  the 
depth  of  water  and  the  floating  ice. 

Feb.  17th.  One  of  my  gamekeepers  wrote  : — "  I  have  found 
six  Green  Woodpeckers  dead  of  starvation  from  hard  frost  and 
snow.  More  Wild  Geese  than  usual  flying  over  this  winter; 
I  saw  twenty-nine  on  Jan.  13th,  and  several  more  lots  of  eight 
or  nine,  of  which  I  have  not  got  the  date." 

March  16th.  A  young  Puffin,  Fratercula  arctica,  arrived 
alive  at  Lilford  from  the  Rev.  Sir  F.  Robinson,  Bart.,  of  Cranford, 
Kettering,  who  informed  me  that  it  was  picked  up  near  that 
place.     This  bird  fed  freely  upon  small  fishes,  and  lived  till 

April  2nd. 

March  17th.     Heard  of  Stock  Dove  sitting  on  her  eggs  at 

Lilford  on  18th  inst. 

March  18th.  The  Hon.  Thos.  W.  Fitzwilliam  wrote  :— "  The 
Herons  (at  Milton,  Peterborough)  are  about  as  numerous  as 
usual,  I  think ;  about  ninety-three  nests  now,  but  I  do  not  think 
that  all  have  built  yet." 

March  22nd.     Chiffchaff  first  reported,  by  Colonel  Irby. 


March  25th.  A  male  Pintail,  which  had  been  for  many  days 
apparently  paired  with  a  Wild  Duck  on  our  decoy-pool,  dis- 

March  26th.  Tawny  Owl's  nest,  with  three  eggs  "  hard  set," 
found  near  Lilford. 

March  29th.  Sand  Martin  first  reported  near  Lilford. 
April  6th.  My  falconer  wrote :— "  Hearing  that  a  strange 
bird  had  been  shot  at  Winwick  (about  five  miles  from  Lilford), 
on  March  26th,  I  went  over,  and  found  it  was  a  young  female 
Peregrine.  The  shooter  told  me  that  he  shot  a  Wood  Pigeon, 
and  before  he  had  time  to  pick  it  up  this  hawk  came  from  a 
great  height,  and  was  carrying  her  prize  away  when  he  shot, 
and  slightly  injured  the  first  joint  of  her  right  wing.  She  looks 
well  in  health,  and  I  think  she  will  get  all  right  in  a  short 
time."  I  purchased  this  Falcon,  and  heard  from  my  man  on 
April  13  th  that  he  put  her  on  the  wing  (in  a  creance)  on  the 
previous  day,  and  that  there  did  not  appear  to  be  "  much 
wrong"  in  her  flight. 

April  12th.  Willow  Wren  first  reported  near  Lilford. 
Mr.  G.  Hunt  wrote  to  me  from  Wadenhoe  :— "  Towards  the 
close  of  the  proceedings  (shooting  Wood  Pigeons  over  wooden 
decoy-birds),  near  Oundle  Wood  on  11th  inst.,  a  female  Peregrine 
came  flying  high  towards  me,  and  seeing  my  lures,  which  were 
placed  on  a  bare  newly-sown  field,  made  a  terrific  stoop  at  one 
of  them,  which  was  pegged  firmly  into  the  ground,  and  drove 
her  hind  claw  into  the  neck  of  the  dummy,  knocked  it  some  five 
yards  off  its  peg,  and  then  flew  straight  away,  and  I  could  see 
something  was  hanging  from  under  her  tail,  and  suspect  she 
broke  her  foot  with  the  violence  of  the  collision.  This  was  an 
old  blue  Falcon.  I  never  in  all  my  experience  in  '  coying'  had 
a  similar  thing  occur.  On  Easter  Sunday  I  found  a  nest  con- 
taining two  young  Stock  Doves  almost  ready  to  fly;  on  the 
previous  day  I  had  seen  some  of  this  species  in  flocks— evidently 

April  14th.  A  nest  of  the  Barn  Owl  near  Lilford  contained 
four  eggs.  My  decoy-man,  who  is  an  East  Anglian,  and  ought 
to  know  the  birds  below  mentioned  well,  wrote  : — "  I  saw  twenty 
Dotterel,  Eudromias  morinellus,  on  the  13th  and  three  on  the 
14th  April."  This  is  the  first  well-authenticated  occurrence  of 
the  Dotterel  in  Northamptonshire  that  has  come  to  my  know- 


ledge,  the  only  previous  one  being  a  somewhat  hazy  report  of 
a  bird  of  this  species  having  killed  itself  against  the  telegraph- 
wires  on  the  L.  &  N.W.  Kailway,  near  Thorpe,  aboiat  forty 
years  ago. 

April  16th.  My  falconer  wrote  : — "  I  have  ten  young  Wild 
Ducks  hatched  off  on  the  2nd,  and  since  then  two  more  sittings, 
all  doing  well.  I  heard  young  Eooks  in  the  nests  last  evening, 
for  the  j5rst  time  this  year." 

By  Uno  von  Troil,  D.D. 

[On  taking  up  lately  a  somewhat  scarce  little  volume  entitled  'Letters 
on  Iceland,'  containing  observations  made  during  a  voyage  in  1772,  by 
Sir  Joseph  Banks,  Dr.  Solander,  Dr.  Lind,  and  Dr.  von  Troil,  we  were 
struck  by  the  remarks  therein  contained  on  the  mammals  and  birds  of 
Iceland,  some  of  which,  although  written  more  than  a  century  ago,  are  still 
of  much  interest  at  the  present  day.  The  alleged  existence  of  the  Wild 
Cat  (doubtless  a  mistake),  the  herbivorous  habits  of  the  Fox,  the  intro- 
duction of  the  Reindeer  from  Norway  in  1770,  the  breeding  of  the  Wild 
Swan  and  the  "  Eider-bird,"  and  the  annual  exportation  of  Eider-down,  and 
of  Iceland  Falcons  purchased  by  royal  falconers,  are  matters  on  which  some 
of  our  readers  may  be  glad  to  have  information.  We  accordingly  give  the 
following  extract  (pp.  140—147,  ed.  1780)  for  their  benefit.  The  "  Letter  " 
from  which  it  is  copied  is  addressed  to  Chevalier  Ihre,  and  is  dated 
"  Stockholm,  Oct.  3,  1774."— Ed.] 

Besides  these  [domesticated]  animals,  they  have  three  kinds 
of  dogs  in  Iceland,  Jiar  hundar,  or  Iwmbar,  shag  dogs ;  and 
dyrhundar  and  dv  erg  hundar.  As  also  tame  and  wild  cats,  which 
last  are  called  tirdarkettir ;  rats,  white  and  brown  foxes,  some  of 
which  eat  grass,  and  are  on  that  account  called  gras  tofur.  To 
root  out  these  animals,  the  king  has  set  a  premium  of  a  rix- 
dollar  upon  every  ten  fox- skins  that  are  sold  to  a  merchant. 
The  natives  have  likewise  made  an  agreement,  that  whosoever 
destroys  a  fox's  hole,  together  with  the  fox,  the  she  fox,  and  their 
young,  is  to  receive  one  rix-dollar,  which  the  neighbours  collect 
among  themselves. 

Eeindeer  were  not  known  here  formerly;  but  by  Governor 
Thodal's  order  thirteen  heads  were  sent  from  Norway  in  1770, 

NOTES    ON    THE    FAUNA    OF    ICELAND.  255 

by  Mr.  Perenson,  merchant,  ten  of  which  died  before  they 
reached  Iceland,  for  want  of  proper  care ;  the  three  remaining 
ones  thrive  extremely  well,  and  had  calved  three  times  before  we 
came  there ;  they  do  not  want  for  food,  as  the  country  abounds 
with  moss. 

After  having  treated  of  their  fishery  and  the  breed  of  their 
cattle,  I  think  this  a  very  proper  place  to  say  something  of  their 
birds,  which,  particularly  in  regard  to  those  of  the  aquatic  kind, 
are  very  important  to  them. 

They  are  found  in  great  abundance  everywhere  on  the  coast ; 
but  the  greatest  number  by  far  are  caught  in  the  few  places 
where  they  breed.  The  eggs  the  Icelanders  make  use  of  them- 
selves, as  likewise  the  flesh,  which  is  eaten  by  a  great  many  of 
them ;  but  with  the  feathers  and  down  they  carry  on  a  very 
considerable  trade. 

It  would  be  unnecessary  to  mention  all  the  different  sorts  of 
birds,  especially  as  there  is  scarcely  any  country  where  so  many 
kinds,  and  such  great  numbers  of  them,  are  to  be  met  with  as  in 
Iceland.  Among  the  great  abundance  of  geese,  water-fowls, 
ducks,  &c.,  &c.,  I  will,  however,  say  something  of  the  Swan  and 

It  is  known  that  the  Swan  belongs  to  the  class  of  birds  of 
passage ;  their  numbers  increase  very  much  towards  winter, 
though  there  is  no  scarcity  of  them  at  any  time,  as  the  greater 
part  of  the  young  breed  constantly  remain  there.  In  spring  we 
may  often  see  an  hundred  of  them  in  a  flock,  and  frequently 
man}'  more ;  and  it  is  then  thought  that  part  of  them  advance 
yet  further  to  the  north,  and  make  but  a  very  short  stay  in 
Iceland.  During  the  summer  they  resort  to  the  lakes  ;  but  when 
winter  approaches,  and  these  begin  to  freeze,  they  remove  to  the 
sea-shores.  Their  eggs  are  gathered  in  the  beginning  of  spring, 
which  are  large,  and  said  to  be  very  palatable.  In  August,  when 
they  lose  their  feathers,  they  are  hunted  on  the  lakes,  where 
they  are  to  be  found  at  that  time,  with  dogs  trained  to  catch 
them  alive.  They  are  said  to  sing  very  harmoniously  in  the 
cold  dark  winter  nights ;  but  though  it  was  in  the  month  of 
September  when  I  was  upon  the  island,  I  never  once  enjoyed 
the  pleasure  of  a  single  song.  An  old  Swan  has  a  fishy 
taste,  but  the  young  ones  are  reckoned  among  the  best  eatable 


The  Eider-bird  is  yet  more  useful  to  the  natives,  who 
consider  it  as  a  kind  of  treasure ;  and  it  is  seldom  heard  that 
a  prudent  house-keeper  shoots  or  kills  any  of  them. 

The  Eider-birds  generally  build  their  nests  on  little  islands 
not  far  from  the  shore,  and  sometimes  even  near  the  dwellings 
of  the  natives,  who  treat  them  with  so  much  kindness  and 
circumspection  as  to  make  them  quite  tame.  In  the  beginning 
of  June  they  lay  five  or  six  eggs,  and  it  is  not  unusual  to  find 
from  ten  to  sixteen  eggs  in  one  nest  together,  with  two  females, 
who  agree  remarkably  well  together.  The  whole  time  of  laying 
continues  six  or  seven  weeks,  and  they  are  fond  of  laying  three 
times  in  different  places;  in  the  two  first  both  the  eggs  and 
down  are  taken  away,  but  in  the  last  place  this  is  seldom  done. 
Those  to  whom  one  of  these  places  belong  visit  it  at  least  once 
a  week. 

When  they  come  to  the  nest,  they  first  carefully  remove  the 
female,  and  then  take  away  the  superfluous  down  and  eggs,  after 
which  they  replace  the  female  on  the  remaining  ones,  when  she 
begins  to  lay  afresh,  and  covers  her  eggs  with  new  down  which 
she  has  plucked  from  herself :  when  she  has  no  more  down  left, 
the  male  comes  to  her  assistance,  and  covers  the  eggs  with  his 
down,  which  is  white,  and  easily  distinguished  from  the  female's  ; 
where  it  is  left  till  the  young  ones  are  hatched,  who  in  an  hour 
afterwards  quit  the  nest  together  with  the  mother,  when  it  is 
once  more  plundered. 

The  best  down  and  the  most  eggs  are  got  during  the  first  of 
their  laying ;  and  it  has  in  general  been  observed  that  they  lay 
the  greatest  number  of  eggs  in  rainy  weather.  As  long  as  the 
female  sits,  the  male  is  on  the  watch  near  the  shore ;  but  as 
soon  as  the  young  are  hatched  he  leaves  them.  But  the  mother 
remains  with  them  a  considerable  time  after ;  and  it  is  curious 
to  see  how  she  leads  them  out  of  the  nest  as  soon  as  they  creep 
out  of  the  eggs,  and  goes  before  them  to  the  shore,  whilst  they 
trip  after  her :  when  she  comes  to  the  water  side  she  takes  them 
on  her  back,  and  swims  with  them  for  the  space  of  a  few  yards, 
when  she  dives,  and  the  young  ones,  who  are  left  floating  on  the 
water,  are  obhged  to  take  care  of  themselves.  [This  mode  of 
carrying  the  young  to  the  water  is  adopted  by  the  Razorbill, 
Guillemot,  and  other  cliff-haunting  birds,  and  it  is  remarkable 
that  the  Eider  Duck  should  pursue  a  similar  plan,  instead  of 

NOTES    ON   THE    FAUNA   OF    ICELAND.  257 

imitating  other  ducks,  -which,  as  a  rule,  lead  their  young  to  the 
edge  of  the  water,  and,  entering  it  before  them,  encourage  them 
to  follow  in  their  wake.  It  may  be  observed,  however,  that 
when  a  Wild  Duck,  Anas  hoschas,  nests,  as  not  unfrequently 
happens,  at  a  height  from  the  ground  (as,  for  example,  in  a 
pollard  or  on  the  top  of  a  stack),  she  carries  down  her  young 
when  hatched  either  on  her  back  between  the  uplifted  wings,  or 
else  in  her  bill. — Ed.]  One  seldom  sees  these  birds  on  land 
afterwards,  for  they  generally  live  on  the  damp  rocks  in  the  sea, 
and  feed  on  insects  and  sea-weeds. 

One  female,  during  the  whole  time  of  laying,  generally  gives 
half  a  pound  of  down,  which  is,  however,  reduced  to  one  half 
after  it  is  cleansed.  The  down  is  divided  into  thong-dmin  (sea- 
weed down)  and  gras-dimn  (grass-down).  The  last  sort  is  thought 
to  be  the  best,  and  is  cleansed  in  the  following  manner : — some 
yarn  is  streaked  in  a  square  compartment  round  a  hoop,  on  which 
the  down  is  laid.  A  pointed  piece  of  wood  is  then  moved  back- 
wards and  forwards  on  the  lower  side  of  the  yarn  thus  streaked, 
which  causes  the  coarser  feathers  to  fall  through,  while  the  fine 
down  remains  on  the  yarn. 

Down  plucked  from  dead  Eider-birds  is  of  little  worth, 
because  it  has  then  lost  the  greatest  part  of  its  elasticity; 
for  this  reason  it  is  of  little  value  in  Iceland.  The  other  sort  is 
sold  at  forty-five  fish  a  pound  when  cleansed,  and  at  sixteen  fish 
when  not  cleansed.  There  are  generally  exported  every  year 
on  the  Company's  account  1500  or  2000  pounds  of  down, 
cleansed  and  not  cleansed,  exclusive  of  what  is  privately 
exported  by  foreigners.  In  the  year  1750  the  Iceland  Com- 
pany sold  as  much  in  quantity  of  this  article  as  amounted 
to  3745  banco-dollars,  besides  what  was  sent  directly  to 

Among  the  land-birds  that  are  eatable.  Ptarmigans  are  not 
to  be  forgotten,  and  are  caught  in  great  numbers.  Falcons, 
also,  abound  in  the  island,  of  which  there  are  three  sorts  :  they 
are  purchased  by  the  royal  falconers,  who  give  fifteen  dollars 
a-piece  for  the  white,  ten  for  those  that  are  darker,  and  seven 
for  the  grey. 

ZOOLOGIST.  — JULY,   1887.  X 

2'')8  THE    ZOOLOGIST. 



By    Leonhard    Stejneger.* 

The  fact  of  the  Ptarmigans  shedding  their  claws  regularly 
every  summer  seems  not  to  have  been  observed  personally  by 
any  of  the  many  excellent  American  ornithologists,  and  has 
therefore  been  comparatively  little  known  to  them.  It  may 
consequently  not  be  without  interest  to  demonstrate  this  process, 
as  I  have  material  at  hand  which  shows  the  procedure  very 

The  late  Prof.  Sven  Nilsson,  the  famous  Swedish  zoologist, 
was  the  first  to  discover  this  peculiarity  in  the  Ptarmigans.  His 
countryman,  Prof.  W,  Meves,  afterwards  confirmed  his  observa- 
.tions,  and  at  the  same  time  proved  that  this  singular  shedding 
of  the  claws  also  occurs  in  other  birds  of  the  family  Tetraonidce, 
as,  for  instance,  in  both  sexes  of  Bonasa  honasia,  Urogallus 
urogallus,  and  also,  in  the  female  at  least,  of  Tetrao  tetrix. 

As  will  be  seen  in  the  specimens  of  the  Lagopus  ridgioayi 
(a  new  species  which  I  was  fortunate  enough  to  detect  on  the 
Commander  Islands,  near  Kamtschatka),  shot  in  June  and 
August,  before  shedding,  the  middle  claw  measures  18 — 20  mm., 
while  in  a  specimen  shot  on  the  2.3rd  of  August,  and  which  has 
just  thrown  the  old  ones  off,  the  length  of  the  new  claw  is  only 
li  mm.  More  instructive  still  is  a  male,  shot  on  the  same  day, 
as  it  has  the  claws  only  partially  shed.  The  old  claws  have 
become  loosened  from  their  base,  and  are  forced  2 — 3  mm.  out, 
still  covering  the  tip  of  the  new  ones,  except  on  two  toes,  from 
which  they  have  already  dropped  oil.  Hence  it  is  obvious  that 
the  process  is  not  a  pathological  one,  in  which  the  nail  drops 
off  as  soon  as  it  is  perfectly  separated  from  its  bed,  and  has 
ceased  to  receive  nourishment  through  the  blood-vessels. 

Most  conclusive,  however,  is  a  specimen  of  a  quite  difi"erent 
species,  Lagopus  albus,  a  specimen  collected  by  Dr.  Bean,  on 
Unga,  one  of  the  Shumagin  Islands,  Alaska.  About  this  speci- 
men Dr.  Bean  remarks,  in  his  "  Notes  on  Birds  collected  in 
Alaska,"  &c.,  in    the   Proc.   U.  S.  Nat.  Mus.    1882    (p.  163),    as 

-  Reprinted  from   '  The   American   Natm-alist,'   vol.  xviii.   pp.  774 — 776 


follows  :— "  This  specimen  (shot  on  July  31st)  corresponds  very 
closel}^  in  most  respects  with  number  33,548,  a  female  from 
Norway,  collected  July  2nd,  1862 ;  the  claws,  however,  are  con- 
siderably shorter  than  in  the  Norway  example,  and  in  all  other 
specimens  of  albus  in  the  Museum."  Dr.  Bean  was  kind  enough 
to  show  me  the  specimen,  when  it  was  apparent  that  the  extreme 
shortness  of  the  claws  was  due  to  the  fact  that  the  bird  had  shed 
them  just  before  it  was  shot,  except  on  the  right  outer  toe,  on 
which  the  nail  was  so  loose,  however,  that  it  dropped  off,  as  I  was 
a  little  too  rough  in  handling  it. 

It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  shedding  takes  place  in  July  or 
August,  according  to  locality  and  other  circumstances,  at  the 
time  when  the  toes  are  most  denuded — in  fact,  almost  wholly 
naked — and  the  dark  summer  plumage  is  most  complete.  The 
claws  grow  very  rapidly,  however,  and  reach  their  full  length 
long  before  the  white  winter  plumage  with  the  densely  clothed 
toes  is  fully  developed. 

So  far  as  is  known,  this  process  is  confined  to  the  members 
of  the  family  of  Tetraonidce,  mentioned  above,  when  in  the  wild 
state,  but  Collett,  in  Ohristiania,  has  mentioned  a  case  where  a 
Quail,  Coturnix  communis,  shed  its  claws  in  confinement,  but  this 
may  have  been  due  to  some  pathological  process. 

I  am  not  aware  that  this  peculiarity  has  been  observed  in  any 
of  the  American  Tetraonidce,  except  Lagojnis  albus,  but  there 
seems  to  be  no  reason  why  it  should  not  occur,  at  least  in  species 
living  under  conditions  similar  to  those  in  Northern  Europe  and 
North-Eastern  Asia.  It  is  to  be  expected  that  we  will  soon 
hear  of  instances  from  this  Nearctic  Region  also,  when  attention 
has  once  been  directed  to  it. 

No  histological  investigation  has  been  made  to  ascertain  the 
causes  and  the  development  of  this  unusual  process  (at  least 
I  am  not  aware  that  any  results  of  such  an  investigation  have 
ever  been  published),  and  consequently  nothing  is  definitely 

As  to  the  use  which  the  birds  derive  from  this  extraordinary 
elongation  of  the  claws,  I  shall  only  quote  Prof.  Meves.  He 
wrote  in  1871  [Ofr.  Sv.  Vet.  Acad.  Forhandl.  1871,  p.  772]  as 
follows : — "  They  (Lagopus  and  Tetrao)  have,  all  through  the 
winter,  to  struggle  with  the  snow  upon  which  they  are  forced  to 
walk.     The  snow  is  often  loose,  and  with  a  foot  like  that  of  the 


common  fowl  they  would  need  much  greater  exertion  of  their 
strength  in  order  to  keep  themselves  on  the  surface.  But  as  the 
Ptarmigan,  by  having  the  underside  of  the  toes  thickly  coated 
with  feathers,  which  can  be  spread  out,  and  by  means  of  the  long 
and  straight  claws, — which  may  be  compared  with  snow-shoes, — 
are  enabled  to  run  easily  over  the  snow,  the  usefulness  and  the 
necessity  of  the  lengthening  of  the  nails  is  self-evident.  In  the 
genus  Tetrao  (=  Urogallus  +  Lyurus  +  Bonasa)  the  lateral  horny 
fringes  of  the  toes  render  the  same  excellent  service,  and  may 
fitly  be  regarded  as  a  kind  of  snow-shoes.  During  the  summer 
this  ivhole  outfit  becomes  superjiuous,  which  may  be  the  main 
cause  of  the  periodical  shedding."  It  may  in  this  connection  be 
mentioned  that  the  horny  fringes  in  Tetraones,  and  the  thick 
feathers  of  the  toes  in  Lagopodes,  also  moult  during  the  summer, 
at  which  time  the  toes  of  the  latter  are  almost  wholly  denuded 
of  feathers. 



Northern  limit  of  the  range  of  the  Noctule  in  Great  Britain. — 
In  'The  Zoologist '  for  May  (p.  170)  attention  was  directed  to  the  statement 
in  Bell's  '  British  Quadrupeds  '  (2nd  ed.  1874,  p.  23)  that  the  northernmost 
locality  from  which  specimens  of  Vesperugo  noctula  have  been  received  is 
Northallerton  in  Yorkshire,  and  it  was  suggested  that  the  species  named 
V.  serotinus  by  Messrs.  Mennell  and  Perkins  in  their  '  Catalogue  of  the 
Mammalia  of  Northumberland  and  Durham '  was  more  likely  to  be 
V.  noctula.  The  specimen  iu  question  has  been  fortunately  preserved  in 
the  Newcastle  Museum,  and  both  Mr.  W.  D.  Roebuck  and  Mr.  T.  South- 
well, who  have  examined  it,  agree  in  considering  it  to  be  undoubtedly 
V.  noctula.  The  range  of  this  species  northward  is  therefore  considerably 
extended  beyond  the  limit  assigned  to  it  by  Bell,  and  its  occurrence  in 
Durham,  where  the  specimen  in  question  was  procured,  has  since  been 
confirmed  by  the  capture  of  another  example  in  the  same  county,  as 
reported  by  Mr.  T.  H.  Nelson.  Writing  on  this  subject  so  recently  as  the 
12th  May  last,  Mr.  Roebuck  says: — "  Referring  to  your  remarks  at  p.  170 
of  '  The  Zoologist '  for  May,  I  may  mention  that  when  in  Newcastle  in 
November,  1884,  I  was  careful  to  examine  the  specimen  which  Mennell 
and  Perkins  recorded  as  V.  serotinus  in  their  '  Catalogue  of  the  Mammalia 
of  Northumberland  and  Durham,'  and  I  came  to  the  conclusion  that  it  was 


a  Noctule,   although  the  specimen  had  lost  its  colour  and  was   much 
bleached.     This  view  was  apparently  shared  by  Mr.  Howse,  the  Curator  of 
the  Museum,  and  I  believe  also  by  Mr.  Southwell,  who  drew  ray  attention 
to  the  existence  of  the  specimen,  on  hearing  that  I  was  about  to  visit 
Newcastle.     I  recorded   my  observations   in  '  The  Naturalist '  for  April, 
1885  (p.  202).     It  was  taken  in  1836  at  Mr.  Swinburne's  house,  between 
Harton  and  Cleadon,  in  Durham  county,  not  far  from  Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
This  occurrence  is  of  interest  as  being  the  most  northerly  record  for  the 
Noctule,  a  species  which  is  generally  distributed  and  not  uncommon  in 
Yorkshire."     Mr.  Koebuck's  remarks  in  '  The  Naturalist '  for  1885  (p.  202), 
to  which   allusion   has   been    made,   are  as  follow : — "  In  the  Newcastle 
Museum  there  is  a  specimen  of  a  Bat  which  was  taken  in  the  year  1836, 
at  Mr.  Swinburne's  house,  between  Harton  and  Cleadon,  in  the  county  of 
Durham,  and  not  far  from  Newcastle.     It  was  recorded  among  the  donations 
to  the  Museum  as  the  Serotine,  'A  species  of  Bat  (Vespertlllo  serotinus), 
taken  near  Cleadon;  Mr.  A.  Swinburne,   1836'  (Trans.  Nat.  Hist.  Soc, 
4to,  vol.   ii.)     It   also   figures  as   the   Serotine  in   Messrs.    Mennell   and 
Perkins's  'Catalogue  of  the  Mammalia  of  Northumberland  and  Durham.' 
The   identification   is,    however,    incorrect.      Mr.   Thomas   Southwell,    of 
Norwich,  visited  the  Museum  last  year,  and,  after  such  inspection  as  can 
be  given  to  a  specimen  in  a  closed  glass  case,  considered  it  to  be  in  all 
probability  a  Noctule  (Vesperugo  noctula).     He  wrote  me  to  this  effect  in 
September.     When,  therefore,  I  visited  Newcastle  some  weeks  after,  I  was 
sufficiently  interested  to   make  inquiries  on  the  subject,  and  found  that 
Mr.  Kichard  Howse,  the  Curator,  had  investigated  the  subject,  and  shared 
Mr.  Southwell's   view.      He   also   showed  me   the  specimen,    and,   after 
examination,  I  fully  coincided  in  their  opinion.     The  specimen  is  old  and 
much  bleached  from  exposure   to  light,  but  it  seems  to  present  all  the 
external  structural  characters  of  the  Noctule.      The  settlement  of  the 
correct  name  of  the  specimen  is  of  interest  from  a  geographical  point  of 
view  from  its  being  a  northward  extension  of  the  range  of  the  Noctule, 
which  has  not  before  been  satisfactorily  recorded  for  any  locality  north  of 
the  River  Tees.     Why  it  should  not  occur — and  commonly,  too — in  the 
county  of  Durham  is  an  enigma,  for  it  is  not  only  widely  diffused  through- 
out Yorkshire,  but  is  a  common  species  in  that  county."     In  a  subsequent 
communication  to  the  same  periodical  ('Naturalist,'  1886,  p.   113),  Mr. 
Roebuck  remarked : —  "  The  following  item   from  the   '  Durham   County 
Advertiser,'  February  26th,  1886,  evidently  refers  to   Vesperugo  noctula, 
and  is  therefore  of  interest  in  view  of  the  fact  that  Durham  county  forms 
the  northernmost  limit  of  its  range.     In  the  Duke  of  Cleveland's  timber- 
yard  in  Winston  Lane,  near  Barnard  Castle,  squeaks  were  heard  while  a 
workman  was  cross-cutting  the  trunk  of  a  large  oak  near  the  roots.     On 
the  crevice  being  opened  twenty-five    '  rat  bats '  were  found  in   a  cluster. 


The  species  is  the  largest  known  in  this  country.  These  measured,  from 
tip  to  tip  of  the  wings,  from  eight  to  ten  inches,  and  the  only  sign  of  life 
was  the  exhibition  of  formidable  teeth.  Put  into  a  cage  and  warmed  they 
became  animated,  and  were  set  at  liberty."  Supplementary  to  this  notice, 
Mr.  T.  H.  Nelson  added  the  statement  (to7n.  cit.  p.  173)  that  Mr.  C.  E. 
Morgan,  of  the  Flats,  near  Bishop  Auckland,  shot  a  Noctule  while  flying 
over  the  pond  at  the  Flats  during  the  summer  of  18B5.  It  remains  to  be 
ascertained  whether  any  confirmation  can  be  obtained  of  the  reported 
occurrence  of  this  species  in  Scotland. — J.  E.  Harting. 

Food  of  the  Greater  Horse-shoe  Bat.— I  send  you  some  wings  of 
Lepidoptera  for  identification  from  "  the  larder"  of  tlie  Greater  Horse-shoe 
Bat.  The  insects  must  have  been  captured  on  the  wing  or  snatched  off 
the  leaves  of  trees  (as  is  the  habit  of  the  Long-eared  Bat),  and  after  being 
carried  to  the  captor's  retreat  (a  cave  near  Tavistock)  the  wings,  on 
being  bitten  off,  fell  to  the  ground,  where  they  were  picked  up. — A.  H. 
Macphkrson  (13,  Kensington  Gardens  Square,  W.). 

[We  have  counted  thirty-six  wings  belonging  to  four  species  of  moth, 
namely,  the  Common  Yellow  Underwing,  Trlplicena  pronuba,  the  Broad- 
bordered  Yellow  Underwing,  TriphcBim  fimbria,  the  Pearly  Underwing, 
Agrotis  saucia,  and  the  Herald  Moth,  Scoliapteryx  Ubatrix.  It  seems  a 
little  curious  that  such  large  insects  should  be  taken  by  so  small  a  mouth, 
but  the  wings  being  clipped  off,  the  bodies  no  doubt  would  be  easily 
disposed  of. — Ed.] 

Small  Rorqual  at  Plymouth. — On  May  16th  a  young  female  Lesser 
Rorqual,  BalcBnoptera  rostrata  (Fabricius),  was  exhibited  by  some  fishermen 
about  the  streets  of  Plymouth  in  a  cart.     It  had  been  taken  entangled  in  a 
mackerel  drift-net  by  the  Lowestoft  fishing-smack  '  Blue  Bell'  the  previous 
week.     The  following  are  some   of  its  dimensions : — Total  length,  from 
centre  of  tail  to  point  of  upper  jaw  around  curve,  12  ft.  7i  in. ;  the  mouth 
was  propped  open,  but  the  men  said  the  lower  jaw  projected  four  or  five 
inches  beyond  the  upper  when  closed,  making  it  then  fully  13  feet  long ; 
len'^th  of  gape,  3  ft.  1  in. ;  width  across  mouth  at  gape,  1  ft.  9  in. ;  length 
of  eyelids,  3  in.,  the  eye  being  placed  just  above  tlie  angle  of  the  gape; 
from  point  of  snout  to  insertion  of  flipper,  3  ft.  4  in. ;    length  of  flipper, 
1  It.  10  in.  ;  width  of  ditto,  6  in. ;  from  point  of  snout  to  insertion  of  dorsal 
fin,  (5  ft.  4  in. ;    width  of  dorsal  fin,  8  in. ;    length  of  ditto,  8  in. ;    width  of 
caudal  fin,  3  ft.  1  in. ;    blowholes,  two  longitudinal  slits  4  inches  long  and 
close  together,  situated  at  1  ft.  8  in.  from  point  of  snout.     The  whalebone 
was  only  a  few  inches  long,  of  a  pale  flesh-colour,  fringed  with  whitisli  hair. 
The  flippers  were  traversed  by  the  white  band  which  is  distinctive  of  this 
species.     The  weight  was  estimated  at  17  cwt.     I  have  secured  the  skull 
and  cervical  vertebrae  for  the  Museum  of  the  Plymouth  Institution.     The 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  263 

butcher  who  cut  it  up  said  that  the  gullet  was  not  larger  than  that  of  a 
calf,  and  far  too  small  to  swallow  a  mackerel. — F.  H.  Balkwill  (3,  Prince's 
Square,  Plymouth). 


A  Puffin  in  London.— On  May  20th  I  received  the  skin  of  a  Puffin, 
Fratercula  arctica,  which,  strange  to  say,  flew  into  one  of  the  bedrooms  of 
the  house  No.  45,  Brook  Street,  Grosvenor  Square,  on  the  16th  of  that 
month.  It  was  alive  when  found,  and  the  owner  of  the  house,  Sir  John 
Walrond,  Bart.,  had  it  killed,  and  presented  it  to  a  lady,  who  kindly 
forwarded  it  to  me.  It  is  curious  that  I  rented  this  very  house  in  the 
winters  of  1884-5  and  1885-6,  and  no  more  distinguished  visitor  than  a 
stray  House  Sparrow  ever  favoured  me  with  a  visit  there. — Lilford. 

[From  the  nature  of  its  haunts,  and  its  strictly  oceanic  habits,  the 
Puffin  is  one  of  the  last  birds  one  would  expect  to  meet  with  in  the 
Metropolitan  county.  Graves,  in  vol.  ii.  of  his  'British  Ornithology,' 
mentions  the  capture  of  a  Puffin  on  the  Thames,  near  Chelsea,  in  1812, 
remarkinfT: — "  We  are  at  a  loss  to  conceive  by  what  unaccountable  accident 
this  bird  should  have  wandered  so  far  from  tlie  coast,  as  the  nearest  place 
to  which  the  species  is  known  to  resort  is  the  cliffs  at  Dover."— Ed.] 

Puffin  on  the  Thames  in  July.— I  have  in  my  collection  a  specimen  of 
the  Puffin,  Fratercula  arctica,  which  was  shot  on  the  Thames  between 
Erith  and  Gravesend  on  June  12th,  1885.  The  beak  of  the  bird  is  very 
abnormally  shaped. — Riley  Fortune  (Harrogate). 

[See  an  article  on  the  moult  of  the  bill  in  the  Puffin,  published  in  '  The 
Zoologist'  for  July,  1878.— Ed.] 

The  Missel  Thrush  occasionally  a  Bird  of  Prey.— During  the  dry 
weather  which  prevailed  this  spring,  with  easterly  winds,  I  one  day  saw  a 
Missel  Thrush  fly  up  to  the  nest  of  a  common  Song  Thrush,  take  out  a 
young  one  and  carry  it  off  to  her  own  nest  and  feed  her  young  ones  with  it. 
How  she  broke  it  up  I  could  not  see,  but  she  appeared  to  be  pecking  it  to 
pieces;  and  she  continued  her  visits  to  the  Song  Thrush's  nest  until  she 
had  carried  off  every  one  of  the  four  young  birds  which  it  contained.  The 
old  Song  Thrushes  made  a  great  outcry  while  this  was  going  on,  which 
attracted  my  attention  to  the  spot.  I  may  add  that  the  young  Missel 
Thrushes  were  nearly  fledged,  and  the  young  Song  Thrushes  only  just 
hatched.— E.  A.  Sanford  (Nynehead  Court,  Wellington,  Somerset). 

Kestrel  and  Slow-worm.— My  keeper's  attention  was  recently  directed 
to  a  small  patch  of  gorse  by  a  Blackbird's  cry  of  alarm  announcing 
the  vicinity  of  some  foe.  He  cautiously  approached  the  spot,  and 
found  himself  within  a  couple  of  yards  of  a  male  Kestrel  in  the  act  of 
dealing  deadly  blows  upon  the  head  and  neck  of  a  slow-worm,  whose 
detached  tail  was  wriggling  about  on  the  grass  a  few  inches  off,  in  contrast 


to  the  body,  which  lay  distended  and  motionless.  The  Kestrel  was  unaware 
of  the  keeper's  presence  until  after  an  interval  of  some  minutes,  which  gave 
him  tlie  opportunity  of  leisurely  witnessing  the  scene.  So  precipitate  was 
this  bird's  flight  when  it  eyed  the  keeper  that  it  did  not  give  itself  time  to 
snatch  up  either  the  body  or  the  tail-end  of  the  Slow-worm,  but  went  away 
empty-clawed.  Such  precaution  was  needless,  as  all  winged  "vermin" 
(Sparrowhawks  excepted)  enjoy  full  immunity  here.  They  are  all  allowed 
to  live  and  multiply.  I  sent  for  the  remains  on  the  day  following,  and  on 
examination  I  found  the  upper  parts  of  the  liead  and  neck  had  four  deep 
wounds,  each  of  which  was  sufficient  to  cause  death.  The  broken  extremity 
showed  no  marks  of  violence.  It  is  possible  the  occurrence  may  have 
taken  place  through  the  natural  contraction  of  the  muscles  and  body,  as 
occasionally  happens,  and  from  which  habit  it  obtains  the  specific  name 
of  frag  ills.  The  tail  end,  which  the  keeper  was  unable  to  find,  had  been 
taken  away  possibly  by  the  Kestrel,  which  had  a  nest  in  the  neighbouring 
covert.  The  length  of  the  Slow-worm  was  thirteen  inches. — J.  C.  Mansel- 
Pleydell  (Whatcombe,  Blandford). 

Nesting  of  the  Marsh  Warbler  in  Gloucestershire.  —  After  the 
repeated  occurrence  of  the  Marsh  Warbler  [Acrocephaliis  2^ahistrls)  at 
Taunton  and  at  Bath,  it  is  not  surprising  that  it  should  turn  up  a  little 
further  north  ;  and  I  have  the  pleasure  of  recording  its  nesting  near 
Cirencester,  in  this  county.  The  bird  itself  has  not  been  noticed,  but  a 
nest  was  found  about  the  middle  of  June,  1880.  The  finder  was  a  son  of 
Mr.  Henry  Plummer,  farmer,  of  Liddington,  near  Cirencester,  who  cut  out 
the  nest,  which  contained  five  eggs.  Working  alone  and  without  books  on 
the  subject,  he  had  no  idea  of  the  prize  he  had  found,  until  my  attention 
was  drawn  to  it  recently.  Two  of  the  five  eggs  were  sent  me  for  com- 
parison, and  are  of  the  common  type  of  Marsh  Warblers  ;  indeed,  but  for 
the  difference  before  blowing,  I  could  hardly  have  picked  them  out  again  if 
once  mixed  with  my  stock  of  continental  specimens.  I  have  since 
visited  the  spot  where  they  were  taken,  seen  the  other  three  eggs,  and 
obtained  the  nest,  which  Mr.  Plummer  kindly  gave  me.  It  is  about  four 
inches  in  diameter  externally,  and  barely  three  inches  deep ;  the  cup  two 
inches  in  diameter,  by  one  inch  and  three-eighths  deep.  It  is  composed 
almost  entirely  of  fine  roots  and  grass,  with  a  few  hairs  in  the  lining,  and 
one  or  two  bits  of  wool  and  dead  leaves  outside.  It  was  situated  about 
three  feet  from  the  ground,  and  partly  suspended  from  the  lower  shoots  of 
a  small  elder  bush  and  the  undergrowth  around  it.  This  elder  bush  is  one 
of  several  stunted  bushes  scattered  through  a  long  narrow  withey  bed  on 
the  bank  of  the  Thames  and  Severn  Canal.  When  I  visited  the  spot  a 
week  ago,  my  companion  found  in  close  proximity  a  Reed  Warbler's  nest 
just  completed,  and  a  Reed  Bunting's,  containing  four  fresh  eggs.  The 
immediate  neighbourhood  I  should  consider  highly  suited  to  the  species. 


on  one  side  being  the  almost  disused  Thames  and  Severn  Canal,  and,  a  few 
hundred  yards  off,  the  Thames,  here  a  mere  brook,  having  its  source  at 
Seven  Springs,  near  Cheltenham,  some  fifteen  miles  to  the  north.  The 
space  between  canal  and  brook  is  almost  entirely  occupied  by  meadows, 
with  irrigation-ditches  running  over  their  surface.  It  may  save  trouble 
and  disappointment  if  I  state  here  that  the  above  eggs  are  not  for  disposal. 
Mr.  Plummer  naturally  desires  to  keep  the  three  he  has;  the  other  two 
were  given  by  him  to  Mr.  Alfred  Archibald,  of  Cirencester,  tlu'ough  whose 
kind  offices  I  was  made  aware  of  this  interesting  addition  to  our  county 
avifauna. — H.  W.  Marsden  (37,  Midland  Road,  Gloucester). 

Unusual  Nesting-site  for  the  Tree  Sparrow.  —  On  May  24th,  whilst 
examining  some  exposed  mole-burrows  (many  of  which  had  been  deepened 
or  adopted  by  Sand  Martins),  in  a  brick-earth  cutting  at  Kemsley,  near 
Sheppy,  I  observed  proofs  that  one  of  the  larger  holes  had  been  taken  pos- 
session of  by  some  birds;  in  fact,  at  my  approach  a  Tree  Sparrow  flew  out 
almost  in  ray  face :  on  digging  away  the  surface  of  the  earth  I  exposed  a 
nest  lined  with  white  feathers,  and  containing  six  perfectly  typical  eggs. 
It  is  well  known  that  Tree  Sparrows  in  this  country  usually  select  pollard 
willows  as  nesting  sites,  the  nest  being  frequently  placed  in  a  hole  between 
the  young  branches  of  the  partly-decayed  trunk ;  I  have  also  found  the  nest 
in  a  hole  in  a  large  dead  branch  which  had  been  cut  off  near  to  the  trunk. 
— A.  G.  BuTLEK  (Natural  History  Museum). 

Hawfinch  nesting  in  Surrey.  —  On  May  30th  a  nest  of  the  Hawfinch 
{Coccothraustes  vulgaris)  containing  eggs  was  found  in  the  Leith  Hill  district 
of  Surrey;  the  exact  locality  perhaps  it  is  unnecessary  to  mention.  The 
nest  was  built  in  the  fork  of  an  apple  tree,  about  ten  feet  from  the  ground. 
Another  nest  of  this  bird  was  found  here  last  year,  but  I  am  afraid  it  was 
robbed. ^Dayid  J.  Kick  (Coldharbour,  near  Dorking). 

The  "Grouse  Disease."  —  Having  lately  had  the  opportunity  of 
examining  several  dead  grouse  which  were  said  to  have  died  of  the  "  grouse 
disease,"  I  have  been  led  to  certain  reflections  which  may  possibly  be  of 
interest  to  your  readers.  I  may  divide  the  grouse  fully  examined  into 
three  groups  : — (a).  Two  specimens  examined  on  the  30th  of  last  Septem- 
ber, which  were  found  dead  on  a  moor  in  Yorkshire.  These  specimens 
were  fairly  nourished,  exhibited  no  sign  of  disease,  and  had  apparently  no 
other  parasite  than  the  common  tapeworm  ;  the  organs  of  these  worms  gave 
no  indication  of  the  cause  of  death,  (b).  One  of  several  specimens  sent 
from  Ayrshire  was  particularly  examined  ;  in  fair  plumage,  without  marked 
signs  of  starvation,  and  with  a  well-tilled  crop,  this  bird  showed  an  inflam- 
mation of  the  walls  of  the  intestine  of  so  marked  a  character,  that — as 
I  wrote  to  the  Editor  of  '  Laud  and  Water,'  from  whom  I  received  the 
specimen  — tiie  cause  of  its   death   should   be   the  study   of  a  professed 


pathologist;  tapeworms  were  again  found  in  the  intestine,  (c).  A  grouse 
received  on  May  24th  from  Sir  W.  Wallace,  on  whose  moors  the  deaths  have 
been  terribly  numerous,  was  in  an  extreme  state  of  emaciation  ;  its  crop  con- 
tained but  three  tops  of  heather,  its  liver  was  congested,  and  the  contents  of 
the  intestine  particularly  fluid;  tapeworms  were  present  in  rather  stronger 
force  than  usual,  and  in  the  caeca  I  found  the  threadworm  which  was  regarded 
by  Dr.  Spencer  Gobbold  as  the  cause  of  "  grouse  disease."  Of  a,  then,  it 
can  only  be  said  that  they  were  dead ;  of  b,  that  it  was  suffering  from 
inflammation  of  the  intestines  ;  and  of  c,  that  it  was  starved,  and  contained 
Cobbold's  worm.  If,  then,  all  three  grouse  died  of  "  grouse  disease,"  grouse 
disease  must  kill  in  at  least  three  ditferent  ways,  or  under  the  term  "  grouse 
disease"  more  than  one  affection  is  included.  The  latter  would  appear  to  be 
the  more  reasonable  supposition,  and  in  that  case  it  may  be  pointed  out  that 
the  first  thing  to  be  done  is  to  define  much  more  strictly  than  has  been  done 
in  the  past  what  is  meant  by  "grouse  disease";  of  all  these  birds,  strict 
accuracy  forbids  our  saying  more  than  "  they  were  dead."  I  have,  however, 
been  told  more  than  once  that  there  is  a  certain  external  diagnostic  sign  of 
the  disease,  and  that  is  the  loss  of  feathers  from  the  feet ;  on  that  I  should 
like  to  make  two  remarks.  One  follows  the  natural  history  of  the  group, 
and  may  be  most  briefly  expressed  in  the  words  of  Dr.  Stejneger  ('American 
Naturalist,'  1884,  p.  776),  "  the  thick  feathers  of  the  toes  in  Lagopodes 
also  moult  during  the  summer,  at  which  time  the  toes  of  the  latter  are 
almost  wholly  denuded  of  feathers."  [The  article  here  quoted  is  of  such 
interest  to  ornithologists  that  we  have  thought  well  to  reprint  it  in  the 
present  number. — Ed.]  The  other  remark  is,  that  a  Ptarmigan,  in  which 
the  denudation  of  feathers  on  the  feet  has  gone  on  to  a  considerable  extent, 
was  examined  by  me  this  morning,  and  was  found  to  be  perfectly  healthy, 
well-nourished,  and  free  from  helminth  parasites.  I  conclude,  therefore, 
that  the  loss  of  feathers  from  tlie  feet  is  not,  at  this  season  of  the  year,  to 
be  taken  as  a  diagnostic  sign  of  any  diseased  condition  of  the  bird.  I  cannot 
avoid  the  conclusion  that  the  birds  examined  by  me  did  not  in  any  case 
primarily  owe  their  death  to  helminth  parasites  ;  examination  on  the  spot 
will  best  decide  whether  microbes  play  a  part  in  the  aetiology  of  the 
disease  or  diseases  which  are  now  causing  such  havoc  in  S.W.  Scotland. — 
F.  Jeffrey  Bell. 

Hybrid  Greenfinches. ^Three  more  hybrid  Greenfinches,  in  addition 
to  those  already  recorded  (Zool.  1888,  p.  879],  are  worth  mentioning,  as 
proving  the  frequency  with  which  this  hybridism  takes  place  in  a  wild 
state.  The  first  of  these  was  caught  at  Yarmouth  in  1882,  and  may  be 
seen  stuffed  and  cased  in  the  house  of  one  of  the  birdcatchers  there.  It  was 
noticed  by  Mr.  G.  Smith  soon  after  being  taken,  and  he  agrees  with  me  in 
considering  that  it  is  a  hybrid  between  a  Linnet  and  a  Greenfinch,  closely 
resembling  Mr.  Stevenson's  hybrid  (Zool.   I.e.)  of  similar  origin.      The 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  267 

second  was  sent  alive  to  my  father  on  the  15th  November  last  from 
Cambridge,  by  Mr.  F.  Daggett,  who  states  that  he  is  quite  familiar  with 
this  kind  of  hybrid  from  having  obtained  similar  examples.  This  bird 
seems  to  be  a  male,  Hke  the  Yarmouth  one ;  it  has  the  Linnet's  head,  but 
with  rather  a  stouter  beak  than  a  Linnet;  the  colour  of  the  head  and  neck 
is  like  a  Linnet's,  but  the  wings  and  tail  are  more  like  those  of  a 
Greenfinch.  It  is  slightly  darker  than  Mr.  Stevenson's  bird,  and  of  rather 
a  stouter  build.  The  third  specimen,  which  is  also  apparently  a  male,  was 
caught  with  some  Siskins  at  Taverham,  neai  Norwich,  on  the  15th 
December  last.  It  is  a  much  yellower  and  more  slender  bird  than  the 
Cambridgeshire  example,  and  in  fact  shows  no  colouring  which  can  with 
certainty  be  assigned  to  the  Linnet.  In  the  opinion  of  its  owner  it  is  a 
hybrid  between  a  Greenfinch  and  a  Siskin.  An  instance  of  such  a  hybrid 
in  captivity  has  been  reported  by  the  Rev.  H.  A.  Macpherson  (Zool.  1883, 
p.  339).  I  hesitate  to  express  an  opinion  about  it,  but  incline  to  think  it  is 
what  the  owner  supposes.  It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  colour  of  the 
plumage  in  hybrids  is  not  always  a  certain  indication  of  parentage;  this  has 
been  proved  more  than  once  in  the  case  of  hybrids  bred  in  confinement, 
whose  parents  were  known  ;  but  as  the  bird  in  question  was  caught  with 
some  Siskins  there  seems  nothing  improbable  in  the  assumption  that  a 
Siskin  was  one  of  its  parents.  That  the  other  parent  was  a  Greenfinch  is 
evident.  I  may  add,  for  the  benefit  of  those  interested  in  Hybrid  Finches, 
that  a  paper  on  the  subject  bj'  Mr.  Macpherson  will  appear  in  the  forthcoming 
number  of  the  '  Transactions  of  the  Norfolk  and  Norwich  Naturalists' 
Society,'  in  which  every  cross  known  to  have  bred  in  confinement  will  be 
noticed,  with  other  particulars.  —  J.  H.  Gurney,  Jun.  (Keswick  Hall, 

Plover's  Nests  with  five  Eggs, — Plovers'  nests  containing  five  eggs 
are  of  suflicieutly  rare  occurrence  to  be  noticed,  and  amongst  the  large 
number  of  nests  I  have  come  across  I  have  only  found  two  with  more  than 
four  eggs.  One  last  year  had  five,  all  of  which  were  of  the  same  ground- 
colour, and  the  markings  were  so  much  alike  that  I  am  perfectly  satisfied 
they  were  all  laid  by  the  same  bird ;  tlie  fifth  egg  was  smaller  than  the 
others.  Last  week  I  found  a  second  nest  containing  five  eggs,  four  of 
which  were  long-shaped  ones,  rich  dark  cream-colour,  with  large  dark 
blotches;  the  filth  was  pear-shaped,  very  thick  at  the  larger  end,  and  with 
a  paler  ground  colour  and  small  spots.  This  egg  was  no  doubt  (as  often 
happens)  laid  by  a  different  bird. — J.  Whitakeu  (Rainworth  Lodge,  near 

Jackdaw  taking  possession  of  Magpie's  Nest,— -('n  May  9th,  whilst 
walking  through  a  wood,  I  taw  a  Jackdaw  leave  what  appeared  to  be  a 
newly-built  Magpie's  nest,  at  the  top  of  a  tall  larch-fir.     Having  ascended 


the  tree  I  found  four  eggs  of  the  Jackdaw  in  the  nest,  which  had  evidently 
been  built  by  Magpies  this  spring.  The  Jackdaws  had  much  enlarged  the 
hole  in  the  roof,  and  had  lined  the  nest  according  to  their  own  ideas. 
About  half  a  mile  away  another  pair  of  Magpies  have  been  ejected  by  a  pair 
of  Kestrels:  this  happened  before  the  nest  was  completed. — E.  W.  H. 
Blagg  (Cheadle,  Staffordshire). 

Thrush's  Nest  without  the  usual  Lining.— When  birdnest^ng  last 
week  I  found  three  Thrush's  nests  lined  with  grass  instead  of  rotten  wood ; 
they  all  contained  eggs,  and  were  well  made  and  much  thicker  than  usual. 
I  have  seen  many  hundreds  of  Thrush's  nests,  but  never  one  lilve  these. 
If  they  had  been  on  a  moor,  or  in  a  town  garden  where  rotten  wood  was 
scarce,  I  should  not  have  been  so  much  surprised,  but  they  were  in  a  wood 
of  eight  hundred  acres,  where  abundance  of  the  usual  lining-material  might 
be  found. — J.  Whitaker  (Rainworth,  near  Mansfield). 

Habits  of  Rooks. — In  1885  my  brother,  Mr.  J.  S.  B.  Borough,  reared 
a  young  Rook,  which  had  fallen  or  been  blown  from  a  nest  in  the  rookery 
in  the  park  here.  The  freedom  of  this  bird  had  never  been  in  any  way 
interfered  with,  but  he  is  very  tame  with  the  few  persons  with  whom  he  is 
on  intimate  terms,  and  rarely  has  missed  coming  daily  to  be  fed  in  the 
outhouse  in  which  he  was  reared.  Last  year  we  had  every  reason  to 
believe  that  he  nested  and  had  a  nest  in  the  rookery  in  the  park  where  he 
was  hatched.  This  year,  however,  he  and  his  mate  belong  to  the  thirty-six 
pairs  or  so  which  foira  the  rookery  round  the  house,  and  they  built  a  nest 
in  the  smaller  of  two  contiguous  elms.  I  ought  to  say  here  that  my  brother 
and  I  know  this  tame  bird  when  on  the  wing  by  a  slight  space  about 
midway  in  his  left  wing,  and  on  the  perch  by  a  small  division  in  his  tail- 
feathers,  which  prevents  the  tail  from  presenting  the  usual  evenly  rounded 
appearance.  On  April  ILth  my  brother  noticed  that  his  bird  carried  food  to 
and  fed  a  bird  sitting  on  a  nest  in  the  larger  elm.  He  had  also  previously 
observed  him  carrying  sticks  to  a  nest  other  than  his  own.  Since  that  day — 
which  was  I  presume  one  of  the  first  on  which  his  second  hen  began  to  sit — 
the  tame  Idrd  has  fed  both  the  sitting  birds,  as  a  rule,  but  not  invariably, 
alternately.  Yesterday  (April  17lh)  I  watched  the  two  nests  from  10  a.m. 
to  1.10  p.m.,  noting  down  all  that  occurred.  During  that  time  I  observed 
that  the  tame  bird  fed  his  mates  twelve  times.  His  earlier  mate,  in  the 
smaller  elm,  he  fed  seven  times  and  the  other  five  times.  On  four  occasions 
certainly,  and  possibly  on  more,  he  took  food — i.e.,  raw  meat  or  bread  and 
milk — from  the  outhouse  in  which  he  is  usually  fed,  but  on  one  occasion  I 
watched  him  fly  into  ihe  meadows  and  return  with  a  |)0uch  full  of  food  in  a 
quarter  of  an  hour's  time.  No  other  bird  fed  the  two  sitting  hens  or  either 
of  them  during  the  whole  of  this  time.  On  each  occasion  of  his  feeding 
them  I  identified  our  bird  as  he  arrived  or  departed.    The  above  facts  show, 


I  think,  that  this  tame  Rook  is  polygamous  or  rather  bigamous  I  suppose 
that  the  "high  living"  which  he  has  always  enjoyed,  and  the  ease  with 
which  he  can  procure  food  enough  to  satisfy  two  mates  and  himself,  has 
caused  him  to  undertake  a  task  which  would  probably  prove  too  much  for 
the  strength  and  food-providing  powers  of  birds  subject  to  natural  conditions, 
and  which  is  therefore  seldom  or  never  undertaken  by  them. — C.  R.  Gawen 
(Chetwynd  I'ark,  Newport,  Shropshire). 

Young  Dippers  taking  to  the  Water.— On  April  11th  I  found  a 
nest  of  the  Dipper,  Ciitdus  aquaticus,  under  a  bridge  near  Chard.  Some 
time  afterwai'ds,  on  my  brother  visiting  the  spot,  one  of  the  young  ones 
deliberately  dived  from  tlie  nest,  which  was  in  the  crown  of  the  arch,  and 
swam  to  the  other  end,  a  distance  of  several  yards,  and  then  landed  and  sat 
on  the  bank  as  if  nothing  had  happened.  As  there  seems  to  be  some 
doubt  whether  Dippers  readily  take  to  the  water  or  not  this  observation 
may  perhaps  be  of  interest  to  your  readers. — A.  H.  Buckland  (4,  East 
Street,  Taunton). 

Swallow  in  Somersetshire  in  December. — In  1885  I  saw  a  Swallow 
on  the  down  at  Clifton,  close  to  the  river,  in  December.  It  was  before  the 
7th — and  I  think  on  the  3rd — of  that  month.  It  was  a  clear  day,  and 
though  there  had  been  a  sharp  white  frost  the  night  before,  there  were  a 
good  many  gnats  about. — E.  R.  Clutterbuck  (Monks,  Corsham,  Wilts). 

Cream-coloured  Courser  in  Cardiganshire.  —  A  specimen  of  the 
Cream-coloured  Courser,  Cursorius  isabeUinus,  was  shot  by  me  on  the  2nd 
October  last,  at  Ymyslas,  near  Borth,  Cardiganshire,  on  the  estuary  of  the 
Dovey.  As  the  skin  has  been  seen  and  identified  by  Mr.  Nelson,  of  Bishop 
Auckland,  and  Mr.  Nicholson,  of  Manchester,  there  can  be  no  doubt  about 
the  species. — A.  Hooton  (Kersal  Towers,  Higher  Broughton,  Manchester). 

Food  of  the  Spotted  Flycatcher. — In  Latham's  '  General  History  of 
Birds'  (vol.  ii.  p.  32o)  I  find  the  following  remarks  on  the  Spotted  Fly- 
catcher : — "  This  species  frequents  orchards  where  cherries  grow,  of  which 
they  are  said  to  be  very  great  destroyers.  Hence  in  Kent  are  known  by 
the  name  of  cherry-suckers."  Can  any  of  your  readers  confirm  this  state- 
ment? I  have  always  considered  the  Flycatcher  to  be,  as  its  name  implies, 
an  insectivorous  bird. — William  E.  Beckwith  (Eaton  Constantino,  Iron- 
bridge,  Salop). 

Norfolk  Plover  nesting  in  Nottinghamshire. — Within  a  few  fields 
of  this  house,  I  am  delighted  to  say,  a  pair  of  Norfolk  Plovers,  (Edicnemus 
crepitans,  are  nesting  this  year,  and  the  owner  of  the  farm  they  are  on  is 
taking  every  care  that  they  may  not  be  disturbed.  I  am  glad  to  say  a  pair 
reared  their  young  there  last  year. — J.  Whitaker  (Raiuworth  Lodge,  near 


Autumnal  Migration  of  Birds  at  Teesmouth. — By  the  middle  of 
October  (1886)  the  autumn  migration  was  in  full  swing  ;  Larks,  Goldcrests, 
Blackbirds,  and  most  of  the  regular  winter  migrants  were  constantly  arriving. 
The  first  Fieldfares  were  seen  on  the  9th,  Woodcock  on  the  11th,  and  Short- 
eared  Owl  on  the  16th  ;  while  Hooded  Crows  were  very  late  with  us ;  I  did 
not  observe  any  until  the  20tli — generally  they  arrive  during  the  first  week 
of  October.  On  the  14th,  while  out  in  a  boat,  I  noticed  great  numbers  of 
sea-birds — Gulls,  Ganuets,  Skuas,  Guillemots,  and  Razorbills.  The  Gulls 
were  principally  Kittiwakes,  Larus  tridactylus.  Guillemots  and  Razorbills 
passed  continuously  to  the  south-east  in  small  flocks  of  from  three  or  four 
to  fifteen  or  twenty,  and  all  around  us  for  miles  we  could  see  birds  flying. 
Amongst  others  we  shot  an  adult  Gannet,  three  Richardson's  Skuas, 
L.  parasiticus  (one  adult  and  two  immature),  and  a  male  Great  Skua, 
L.  cataractes.  The  last  named  is  a  rare  bird  in  this  district ;  Mr.  Mussell, 
the  birdstuffer  at  Redcar,  tells  me  lie  has  never  before  had  one  through  his 
hands.  It  is  many  years  since  there  was  such  a  remarkable  abundance  of 
bird-life  off  Redcar ;  I  never  before  remember  having  seen  such  a  number 
and  variety  of  species  at  one  time.  Several  of  the  fishermen  said  they  had 
not  seen  so  many  Skuas  since  the  great  flight  on  October  14th,  1879 — just 
seven  years  previously.  I  saw  one  Pomatorhine  Skua,  and  the  next  day 
several  of  these  birds  were  flying  over  the  rocks  before  a  south-east  gale.  It 
is  quite  probable  that  the  commotion  amongst  the  birds  at  sea  might  be 
attributed  to  the  impending  storm :  the  Guillemots,  particularly,  seemed  to 
be  in  great  haste,  hurrying  away  as  though  for  dear  life.  I  have  frequently 
noticed  that  sea-birds  seem  to  possess  a  remarkable  instinctive  knowledge 
of  approaching  change  of  weather,  and  there  is  a  great  deal  of  truth  in  the 
saving  that  "  To  be  a  successful  wildfowler  a  man  should  be  also  a  weather 
prophet."  On  October  loth,  a  strong  south-east  gale  blowing,  many  Gulls 
and  Skuas  passed  over  the  rocks  to  the  north-west,  as  also  a  few  Ducks ;  and, 
on  the  same  day,  I  saw  a  large  flock  of  Green  Plover  crossing  from  seaward 
and  flying  high  to  the  south-west.  On  the  16th  a  Red-throated  Diver, 
Colymbus  septcntrionalis,  with  part  of  the  red-throat  patch. remaining,  was 
shot  off  East  Scar.  On  the  18th  the  wind  was  strong  from  the  north-east, 
with  heavy  rain,  and  several  Velvet  Scoters,  (Edemiafusca,  were  swimming 
outside  the  breakers  ;  two  rose  and  flew  past  over  the  sands,  when  I  secured 
one  of  them.  In  the  afternoon  I  shot  another  Velvet  Scoter  from  Redcar 
Pier ;  it  came  ashore  with  the  flowing  tide,  and  proved  to  be  a  young  male. 
On  the  19th  it  was  still  stormy  ;  Ducks,  Larks,  Woodcocks,  Owls,  Gold- 
crests  and  other  small  birds,  crossed  in  considerable  numbers.  In  the 
afternoona  young  male  Scaup  was  shot  near  the  pier.  On  the  20th  great 
numbers  of  Hooded  Crows  and  Larks  crossed.  On  the  21st,  at  West  Scar, 
I  secured  a  young  male  Long-tailed  Duck,  Harelda  glacialis.  On  the  same 
day  two  female  Long-tails  were  shot  at  East  Scar.      Hooded  Crows  and 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  271 

Ducks  passed  during  the  morning.  On  the  22nd  there  was  a  great  rush  of 
Larks  all  day,  and  a  few  Hooded  Crows.  Ou  the  23rd  I  saw  a  Great 
Northern  Diver,  Colymbus  tjlacialis,  outside  Salt  Scar,  but  could  not  get 
within  a  hundred  yards  of  it.  In  the  early  part  of  November,  Mr.  A.  E. 
Pease,  M.P.,  killed  a  fenmle  Goosander,  Mergus  merganser,  in  a  small 
runner  near  Guisbro',  and  about  the  middle  of  the  month  Mr.  R.  F.  Chilton 
shot  a  large  female  Great  Northern  Diver  at  the  Tees-mouth.  Mr.  Chilton 
informed  me  that  it  weighed  close  upon  twelve  pounds,  which  I  can  quite 
believe,  judging  from  the  size  of  the  bird.  There  has  evidently  been  a  flight 
of  Shore  Larks,  Alauda  alpestris,  ou  the  coast.  Twelve  or  fifteen  were 
killed  during  the  first  week  in  December;  on  the  10th  two  more  were  shot 
ou  Coatham  sands,  and  on  the  11th  Mr.  Emerson  shot  three  at  the  same 
place.  I  examined  ten  or  a  dozen  examples,  and  found  all  of  them  to  be 
young  birds. — T.  H.  Nelson  (North  Bondgate,  Bishop  Auckland). 

Food  of  the  Smew. — It  is  generally  admitted  that  all  the  Mergansers 
subsist  chiefly  on  hsh,  and  such  has  hitherto  been  the  writer's  experience. 
Smews,  in  particular,  almost  always  contain  remains  of  small  fishes,  less 
frequently  aquatic  insects;  and  though  the  diving  ducks  often  yield  on 
dissection  no  further  results  than  a  few  small  pebbles,  the  Smews  are  rarely 
obtained  when  fasting.  On  a  recent  occasion  a  Smew  proved  to  have 
eighteen  minnows  in  its  gullet,  while  the  stomach  contained  the  remains  of 
others.  It  may  therefore  be  worth  while  to  record  that  a  Smew  of  the 
year,  purchased  in  Leadenhall  ou  March  25th,  contained  no  remains  of 
animal  food,  but  the  stomach  held  a  small  quantity  of  digested  vegetable 
matter.  A\\  adult  opened  a  month  earlier  contained  a  small  eel,  which  was 
quite  intact. — H.  A.  Macpherson. 

The  Ancestry  of  Birds. — If  birds  are  developed  from  amphibians  or 
pre-amphibians,  and  if  Prof.  Huxley  is  right,  as  I  believe  he  is,  in  supposing 
that  the  connection  of  mammals  with  amphibians  is  neither  through  reptiles 
nor  birds,  we  come  to  this:  that  amphibians  or  pre-amphibians  have 
furnished  the  common  stem  whence  reptiles,  birds,  and  mammals  have 
diverged.  In  that  case  there  is  an  end  of  that  group,  "  Sauropsida,"  which 
the  birds  are  alleged  by  Prof.  Parker  to  "culminate."  But,  further, 
amphibians  are  certainly  more  closely  allied  to  reptiles  than  to  either  birds 
or  mammals.  Cuvier's  system  may  therefore  be  justly  reverted  to,  and  the 
Amphibia  or  Batrachia  be  considered  as  the  lowest  division  of  the  Reptilia, 
which  I  do  not  for  one  moment  doubt  is  the  true  classification. — Prof. 
Cleland  in  '  Nature.' 


Colour  and  Size  of  Adders.— Is  there  any  truth  in  the  assertion, 
which  I  have  often  heard,  that  the  colour  of  Adders  depends  upon  the  kind 
of  soil  ou   which  they  hve?      I  am  disinclined  to  accept  this  theory,  as 

272  THE    Z00LO(ilST. 

I  have  seeu  Adders  of  very  different  colour  living  on  the  same  kind  of  soil, 
and  have  seen  them  killed  within  a  few  yards  of  one  another.  I  am 
speaking  of  the  country  about  Dorking  and  Leith  Hill,  and  there  I  used  to 
see  them  of  various  colours — dull  yellowish  brown,  with  the  dorsal  spots 
dark  brown ;  lighter  yellow,  with  red  spots  ;  reddish  grey,  with  red  spots  ; 
very  light  greenish  grey,  with  black  spots  ;  and  some  almost  black  all 
over.  I  never  saw  the  handsome  dark  red  variety.  As  far  as  I  can 
recollect,  they  have  all  red-coloured  eyes.  I  should  much  like  to  know 
the  size  that  Adders  have  attained  to.  The  largest  I  killed,  and  which 
I  measured  before  it  was  quite  dead,  was  26  inches,  and  I  saw  two  others 
killed  about  the  same  time  and  place,  which  were  both  24  inches.  These 
sizes  are  undoubtedly  above  the  average,  but  I  fancy  that  considerably 
larger  ones  have  been  obtained.  The  20-inch  one  was  dull  yellow,  with 
dark  brown  spots,  and  on  being  captured  gave  out  a  strong  smell,  which 
fact  I  have  never  seeu  alluded  to  in  any  book.  One  of  the  other  two  was 
a  little  darker  in  colour  than  the  one  just  described,  and  the  other  was  very 
light  grey,  with  jet-black  markings,  just  out  of  his  old  skin,  and  one  of  the 
handsomest  I  ever  saw.  When  the  yellowish  red  ones  are  "  clean  moulted" 
they  look  very  like  a  gold  bracelet,  when  coiled  up,  basking  in  the  sun. 
I  kept  some  alive  for  several  months,  and  tried  to  entice  them  to  eat  with 
all  sorts  of  dainties,  such  as  small  frogs,  mice,  young  birds,  slugs,  lizards, 
and  bread-and-milk ;  these — with  the  exception,  of  course,  of  the  last- 
mentioned  dish — I  used  to  give  them  alive,  but  they  refused  everything 
except  two  unhappy  lizards.  These  they  certainly  ate,  although  I  did  not 
witness  the  operation.  I  kept  them  in  a  large  box,  with  perforated  zinc  in 
the  sides  and  a  sliding  glass  top  ;  sand,  stones,  and  moss  inside.  I  used  to 
let  them  out  to  have  a  run  occasionally,  and  always  picked  them  up  by 
their  tails  to  put  them  back  into  their  box.  When  carried  by  the  tail  they 
are  harmless,  as  they  are  unable  to  curl  up  to  reach  the  hand,  although 
they  make  strenuous  efforts  to  do  so.  But  I  should  be  very  sorry  to 
attempt  to  pick  up  by  the  tail  a  wild  Adder  without  first  pinning  him 
to  the  ground  with  a  stick  on  his  neck.  Referring  back  to  the  Lizards 
which  I  gave  them,  I  observed  that  they  evinced  signs  of  great  terror  on 
being  introduced  to  the  Adders,  rushing  about  frantically  in  all  directions, 
as  if  they  very  well  knew  what  an  Adder  was;  and  I  have  no  doubt  that 
they  are  constantly  preyed  upon  by  Adders  in  a  wild  state.  T  hope  that 
this  will  be  borne  out  by  others  who  have  studied  these  interesting,  and  to 
my  mind  handsome,  creatures,  as  I  have  not  yet  seen  anything  but  mice 
reported  as  their  food.  In  catching  Adders  on  the  move  with  a  forked 
stick,  one  must  aim  well  forward,  or  a  clean  miss  will  be  the  inevitable 
result.  They  can  be  carried  home  dangling  to  a  string  tied  round  their 
necks.— G.  E.  Lodge  (5,  Verulam  Buildings,  Gray's  Inn). 



Lumpsucker  on  the  Welsh  Coast.— The  occurrence  on  this  coast  of 
the  Lumpsucker,  Cyclopterus  lumpus,  may  be  worth  recording.  Two 
examples  were  washed  ashore,  about  the  middle  of  Maj',  in  the  Traeth 
back,  a  tidal  estuary  near  Port  Madoc.  The  smaller  of  the  two,  which 
appeared  quite  fresh,  measured  about  thirteen  inches  in  length.  The  other 
was  considerably  larger,  but  much  damaged  by  sea-birds.  A  specimen  of 
the  Sea  Wolf,  Anarchicas  lupus,  about  three  feet  long,  said  to  have  been 
taken  off  Barmouth,  was  obtained  from  a  fishmonger  at  Port  Madoc  in 
May.  I  have  not  met  with  either  of  these  fishes  before  on  this  coast, 
and  believe  they  are  not  common  here. — G.  H.  Caton  Haigh  (Aber-ia, 
Penrhyndendraeth,  Merionethshire). 


Bees  occupying  Birds'  Nests.  —  The  occurrence  mentioned  by  Mr. 
A.  H.  Bucklaud  (p.  238)  I  do  not  think  is  very  uncommon.  I  have 
frequently  found  birds'  nests  thus  tenanted.  Occasionally  the  nests  have 
been  new  ones,  but  in  these  cases  I  have  no  doubt  that  they  had  been 
robbed  and  deserted  by  the  birds  previous  to  the  bees  taking  possession. 
The  nests  I  have  usually  found  thus  inhabited  have  been  those  of  the 
Meadow  Pipit,  Hedgesparrow,  and  Robin,  and,  on  one  occasionally  only, 
a  Wren's.— Riley  Foetune  (Alston  House,  Harrogate). 



April  7,  1887. — Wm.  Carrdthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

The  following  gentlemen  were  elected  Fellows  of  the  Society : — Mr. 
Hunter  J.  Barron,  Mr.  James  H.  Dugdale,  and  Mr.  Edward  B.  Poulton. 

A  series  of  photographs,  taken  instantaneously  from  life,  of  the  White 
Stork,  Ciconia  alba,  were  exhibited  by  Mr.  Edward  Bidwell.  These  had 
been  executed  in  Germany,  and  most  accurately  represented  the  birds 
during  the  breeding  season.  Not  only  were  the  nests,  young  thereon,  and 
old  birds  well  shown,  but  the  remarkable  attitudes  assumed  preparatory  to 
alighting  and  commencing  flight,  as  well  as  the  peculiar  twist  of  the  neck 
in  calling,  &c.,  were  most  instructive. 

Dr.  Francis  Day  showed  and  described  some  malformed  Trout  in  an 
early  stage  of  development. 

An  important  botanical  paper  on  the  Gentians  was  read  by  Prof.  Huxley, 

ZOOLOGIST. — JULY,  1887.  Y 


April  21,  1887. — Wm.  Carruthers,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

Mr.  W.  Isaac  Spencer  was  elected  a  Fellow  of  the  Societj'. 

Mr.  Patrick  Geddes  read  a  paper  "  On  the  Nature  and  Causes  of 
Variation  in  Plants  and  Animals."  The  fact  of  organic  evolution  is  no 
longer  denied,  but  its  physiological  factors  have  not  j'et  been  adequately 
analysed.  Even  those  who  regard  natural  selection  as  at  once  the  most 
important  and  the  only  ascertained  factor  of  the  process  admit  that  such  an 
explanation  being  from  the  external  standpoint — the  adaptation  of  the 
organism  to  survive  the  shocks  of  the  environment — stands'in  need  of  a 
complementary  explanation  which  shall  lay  bare  the  internal  mechanism 
of  the  process, — i.  e.  not  merely  account  for  the  survival,  but  explain  the 
origin  of  variations.  The  relative  importance  of  the  external  and  internal 
explanation  will  moreover  vary  greatly  in  proportion  as  variations  are 
found  to  be  "spontaneous," — i.e.  in  some  given  direction  continuously. 
Avoiding  any  mere  postulation  of  an  inherent  progressive  tendency  common 
to  both  pre-  and  post-Darwinian  writers,  the  definite  analysis  of  the  problem 
starts  with  that  conception  of  protoplasm  which  is  the  ultimate  result  of 
morphological  and  physiological  analysis, — viz.  to  interpret  all  phenomena 
of  form  and  function  of  cells,  tissues,  organs  and  individuals  alike  in  terms 
of  its  constructive  and  destructive  ("anabolic  and  katabolic")  changes. 
While  the  external  or  environmental  explanation  of  evolution  starts  with 
the  empirical  study  of  the  effect  of  human  selection  upon  the  variations  of 
animals  and  plants  under  domestication,  the  internal  or  organismal  one  as 
naturally  commences  with  the  fundamental  rhythm  of  variation  in  the 
lowest  organism  in  nature.  It  also  investigates  the  nature  of  the  simple 
reproductive  variation  upon  which  the  origin  of  species  as  well  as  individuals 
must  depend,  before  attempting  that  of  individual  variation.  The  inter- 
pretation of  all  the  phenomena  of  male  and  female  sex  as  the  outcome  of 
katabolic  and  anabolic  preponderance  is  shown  largely  to  supersede  the 
current  one  of  sexual  selection,  and  in  some  cases  at  least  that  of 
natural  selection;  e.rf.  the  specially  important  one  of  the  origin  of  such 
polymorphic  communities  as  those  of  ants  and  bees.  In  such  cases 
natural  selection  acts  not  as  the  cause  of  organic  evolution,  but  as  the 
check  or  limitation  of  it,  and  acquires  importance  rather  as  determining  the 
extinction  than  the  origin  of  species.  The  process  of  correlation,  especially 
that  between  individuation  and  reproduction  is  mooted  by  the  author,  and 
its  application  to  the  origin  and  modification  of  flowers,  &c.,  outlined. 
A  discussion  is  given  of  the  embryological  and  pathological  factors  of  internal 
evolution,  with  an  outlined  application  of  the  whole  argument  to  the 
construction  of  genealogical  tree  of  plants  and  animals. 

A  report  was  read  "  On  the  Gephyreans  of  the  Mergui  Archipelago,"  by 
Prof.  Erail  Selenka,  of  Erlangen  ;  this  communication,  dealing  chiefly  with 
a  technical  description  of  the  species,  a  few  being  new. 


May  5,  1887.— Wm.  Caruuthkrs,  F.R.S.,  President,  in  tlie  chair. 

Mr.  Ernest  W.  Forrest  and  Mr.  George  Perrin  were  elected  Fellows; 
Mr.  W.  Hadden  Beeby,  Mr.  Adolphus  H.  Kent,  and  Mr.  J.  Medley  Wood 
(Natal)  were  elected  Associates  ;  Prof.  Dr.  Geo.  Aug.  Schwenfurth  of  Cairo, 
Prof.  Count  Hermann  Solms-Laubach  of  Gottingen,  Dr.  Franz  Stein- 
dachner  of  Vienna,  M.  le  Dr.  Melchior  Treub  of  Buitenzorg,  Java,  and 
Prof.  Dr.  Augustus  Weismann  of  Freiburg,  were  elected  Foreign  Members 
of  the  Society. 

The  Auditors  elected  to  examine  the  Treasurer's  accounts  were  Mr.  F. 
Victor  Dickins  and  Mr.  George  Maw  on  behalf  of  the  Fellows,  and  Mr.  J. 
Edmund  Harting  and  Mr.  A.  D.  Michael  to  represent  the  Council. 

Mr.  J.  R.  Willis  Bund  exhibited  specimens  in  spirit  of  the  Rainbow 
Trout,  Salmo  iridons,  which  had  been  reared  at  the  Hatcheries  of  the  Fish 
Culture  Estaldishment  at  Delaford  Park.  He  pointed  out  the  great 
difference  in  size  of  members  of  the  brood  which  were  of  the  same  age, 
having  been  reared  from  eggs  of  the  same  batch.  He  mentioned  that 
circumstances  tended  to  show  that  it  was  a  migratory  fish,  hence  as  such 
the  value  of  its  introduction  into  this  country  as  a  Stream  Trout  would  be 
materially  diminished. 

A  Report  on  the  Alcyonaria  and  Gorgonise  of  the  Mergui  Archipelago, 
by  Stuart  0.  Ridley,  was  read,  and  in  which  a  number  of  new  forms  were 
described.  The  author  states  that,  looking  at  the  Alcyonarian  fauna  of 
the  Burmese  coast  generally,  we  find  that  it  is  in  no  way  behind  that  of 
any  other  part  of  the  Indian  Ocean  so  far  as  known.  Judging  from  the 
present  collection,  it  would  seem  to  be  rich  in  the  soft  fleshy  Alcyonid 
section — e.  g.  Spongodes  and  Lobophyton,  &c. — while  the  Gorgonias  are  also 
fairly  represented  in  new  species,  and  one  new  member  of  the  family 
Melithmidce  is  now  added,  viz.  Mopsella  planiloca. — J.  Mubie. 

Zoological  Society  of  London. 

May  17,  1887.— Prof.  W.  H.  Flower,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  President,  in 
the  chair. 

The  President  read  some  extracts  from  a  letter  which  he  had  received 
from  Dr.  Emiu  Pasha,  dated  Wadelai,  November  3rd,  relating  to  some 
skulls  of  the  Chimpanzee  from  Monbottu,  to  some  portions  of  the  skeleton 
of  individuals  of  the  Akka  tribe,  and  to  some  other  objects  of  natural  history 
which  he  had  forwarded  [via  Uganda)  to  the  British  Museum  of  Natural 

Mr.  A.Thomson  exhibited  some  specimens  of  a  rare  Papilio{P.porthaon) 
from  Delagoa  Bay,  reared  in  the  Society's  Gardens. 

Prof.  Howes  exhibited  a  drawing  of  a  head  of  Palinurus  j^enicillatus. 


received  from  M.  A.  Milne-Edwards,  and  remarked  on  the  assumption  of 
antenniform  characters  by  the  left  ophthalmite  shown  in  this  specimen. 

A  paper  was  read  by  Mr.  W.  F.  Kirby,  Assistant  in  the  Zoological 
Department,  British  Museum,  entitled  "  A  Revision  of  the  Subfamily 
LibellidincE,  with  descriptions  of  new  Genera  and  Species."  The  last 
compendium  of  this  group  was  published  by  Dr.  Brauer  in  1808,  in  which 
forty  genera  were  admitted.  Mr.  Kirby  now  raised  the  number  to  eighty- 
eight,  all  fully  tabulated  and  described  in  his  paper,  which  likewise  included 
descriptions  of  fifty-two  new  species.  Mr.  Kirby  gave  a  short  sketch  of  the 
characters  of  the  LibelluUna,  and  more  especially  of  the  neuration,  which 
he  considered  to  be  of  primary  importance. 

Mr.  R.  Bowdler  Sharpe  read  the  third  part  of  his  series  of  notes  on  the 
Hume  Collection  of  Birds,  which  related  to  Syriiium  maingayi,  Hume,  and 
to  the  various  specimens  of  this  Owl  in  the  British  Museum. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  A.  Smith  Woodward,  on  the 
presence  of  a  canal-system,  evidently  sensory,  in  the  shields  of  Pteraspidian 
fishes.  Mr.  Woodward  described  a  specimen  which  seemed  to  prove  that 
the  series  of  small  pits  or  depressions  upon  tho  shields  of  these  ancient 
fishes,  observed  by  Prof.  Ray  Lankester,  are  really  the  openings  of  an 
extensive  canal-system  traversing  the  middle  layer  of  the  shield. 

A  second  communication  from  Mr.  A.  Smith  Woodward  contained  some 
notes  on  the  "  lateral  line  "  of  Squaloraja,  in  which  it  was  shown  that  the 
"lateral  line"  of  this  extinct  Liassic  Selachian  was  an  open  groove  sup- 
ported, as  in  the  Chimseroids,  by  a  series  of  minute  ring-like  calcifications. 

June  7, 1887. — E.  W.  H.  Holdsworth,  Esq.,  F.Z.S.,  in  the  chair. 

The  Secretary  read  a  report  on  the  additions  that  had  been  made  to 
the  Society's  Menagerie  during  the  month  of  May,  and  called  attention 
to  a  Tooth-billed  Pigeon,  Didunculus  strigirostris,  brought  home  from  the 
Samoan  Islands,  and  presented  to  the  Society  by  Mr.  Wilfred  Powell;  to 
two  Red-spotted  Lizards,  Eremias  rnhro-jmnctata,  obtained  at  Moses'  Well, 
in  the  Peninsula  of  Sinai,  and  presented  to  the  Society  by  Mr.  G.  Wigan; 
and  to  a  small  scarlet  Tree  Frog,  Dendrobates  typographus,  from  Costa  Rica, 
presented  to  the  Society  by  Mr.  C.  H.  Blomefield. 

Mr.  Sclater  called  attention  to  examples  of  two  North-American  Foxes 
now  living  in  the  Society's  Gardens,  which  he  referred  to  Canis  velox  and 
C.  virginianus. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  A.  0.  Hume,  C.B.,  containing 
some  notes  on  Budorcas  taxicolor,  the  Gnu-goat  or  Takin  of  the  Mishmee 
Hills,  and  some  remarks  on  the  question  of  the  form  of  the  horns  in  the 
female  of  this  animal. 

A  communication  was  read  from  Mr.  E.  Symonds,  containing  notes  on 
various  species  of  Snakes  met  with  in  the  vicinity  of  Kroonstadt,  Orange 


Free  State,  specimens  of  which  had  been  forwarded  to  Mr.  J.  H.  Gurney, 
and  determined  by  Dr.  Giinther. 

Mr.  Martin  Jacoby  gave  an  account  of  a  small  collection  of  Coleoptera 
obtained  by  Mr.  W.  L.  Sclater  in  British  Guiana. 

Prof.  G.  B.  Howes  read  a  paper  on  an  hitherto  unrecognised  feature  in 
the  larynx  of  the  Anurous  Amphibians.  This  was  the  existence  in  many 
individuals  of  various  species  of  a  rudimentary  structure,  which  appeared 
to  correspond  to  the  epiglottis  of  Mammals,  and  which  in  some  instances 
attained  a  remarkable  development  as  an  organ  of  voice. — P.  L.  Sclater, 

Entomological  Society  of  London. 

June  1,  1887. — Dr.  David  Sharp,  F.Z.S.,  President,  in  the  chair. 

Mr.  PhiHp  Crowley  exhibited  the  following  specimens  of  Diurni,  from 
the  Kareen  Hills,  Burmah: — Pupilio  Zaleiicus,  H.e\v.,Papilio  Adanisoni, 
Smith,  Papilio  ?  sp.  (male  and  female),  and  Nymphalis  Nicholii,  Smith. 

Mr.  T.  R.  Billups  exhibited  several  specimens  of  an  ant  found  at  Kew, 
frequenting  a  species  of  palm  from  Tropical  Australia,  and  which  had  been 
determined  as  Tapinoma  melanocephalum ;  also  living  specimens  of  Carabus 
auratus,  from  the  Borough  Market,  and  of  a  species  of  Blaps  from  Northern 

Mr.  Waterhouse  exhibited  a  specimen  of  a  Brazilian  Locust,  Cono- 
cephalus  ?  sp.,  which  he  had  for  some  time  preserved  alive,  -and  which  had 
only  died  that  same  morning.  He  called  attention  to  the  change  of  colour 
which  he  had  observed  in  the  eyes  of  this  insect ;  in  a  bright  light  they 
were  dirty  white  or  horn-coloured,  with  a  black  dot  in  the  middle ;  but  at 
night,  or  if  the  insects  were  confined  in  a  dark  box,  they  became  altogether 
black;  shortly  after  death,  also,  the  eyes  became  black.  Mr.  M'Lachlan 
observed  that  he  had  noticed  a  darker  spot  in  the  centre  of  the  eye  in  certain 
Ephemeridse,  and  in  other  Neuroptera.  The  discussion  was  continued  by 
Dr.  Sharp  and  others,  but  no  one  seemed  to  be  able  to  account  for  the 
alteration  in  question. 

Lord  Walsingham  exhibited  specimens  of  Caterenina  terehrella,  Zk., 
a  species  lately  taken  in  Britain,  which  he  had  caught  in  Norfolk,  and  bred 
from  fir-cones  gathered  in  the  same  locality. 

Mr.  Meyrick  read  two  papers,  "  On  Pyralidina  from  Australia  and 
the  South  Pacific"  and  "  Descriptions  of  some  exotic  Micro-Lepidoptera." 
In  these  papers  at)out  sixty  new  species  were  described.  A  discussion 
ensued,  in  which  Dr.  Sharp,  Mr.  Staintou,  Mr.  M'Lachlan,  and  others  took 
part.  Mr.  Meyrick  stated  that,  as  far  as  the  Pyralidina  were  concerned, 
Australia  could  not  be  I'egarded  as  a  separate  region,  for  a  large  number 
were  not  endemic,  but  appeared  to  have  been  introduced  from  the  Malay 


Archipelago.  The  method  of  this  immigratiou  seemed  doubtful.  Mr. 
Meyrick  was  of  opinion  that  the  insects  flew  very  long  distances,  and 
effected  a  settlement  through  their  food-plants  being  widely  distributed  and 
common.  He  instanced  the  undoubted  immigration  of  certain  Australian 
species  into  New  Zealand,  a  distance  of  1200  miles.  Mr.  Stainton  adduced 
the  instance  of  Margarodes  unionalis,  which  is  a  South-European  insect, 
feeding  on  the  olive,  yet  is  occasionally  found  in  Britain. 

Mr.  Meyrick  exhibited,  in  connection  with  his  papers,  Oxychirota 
paradoxa,  Meyr.  (unique  specimen  representing  the  family  Oxychirotidse), 
Epharpastis  dccdala,  Meyr.,  and  Mixophijla  erminea,  Moore. 

Mr.  Meyrick  also  made  some  observations  on  the  distribution  of  the 
insect  fauna  in  the  various  regions  of  Australia ;  he  said  that  it  appeared  to 
be  more  or  less  different  in  certain  defined  portions  of  the  continent,  which 
might  be  roughly  regarded  as  oases  in  the  midst  of  desert  districts  :  all  his 
observations,  however,  had  tended  to  upset  Mr.  Wallace's  theory  that 
Eastern  and  Western  Australia  were  originally  separated,  as  the  gradations 
in  the  insect  fauna  from  east  to  west  were  quite  gradual;  in  Western 
Australia  the  Tineina  were  the  only  group  well  represented  by  peculiar 
endemic  forms. 

Mr.  Pascoe  read  a  paper  "  On  the  genus  Byrsops"  a  genus  of  Cur- 

The  President  announced  that  Lord  Walsingham's  collection  of  Lepi- 
doptera  and  larvae,  recently  presented  to  the  nation,  would  be  exhibited  in 
the  Hall  at  the  Natural  History  Museum,  South  Kensington,  until  the  end 
of  June.— W.  W.  F. 


A  Nomenclature  of  Colours  for  Naturalists,  and  Compendium  of 
Useful  Knoioledge  for  Ornithologists.  By  Egbert  Ridgway, 
Curator,  Department  of  Birds,  U.  S.  National  Museum. 
8vo,  pp.  130,  with  ten  coloured  plates  and  seven  plates  of 
outline  illustrations.     Boston,  U.  S. 

Some  five  years  ago  the  present  writer,  in  advocating  the 
desirability  of  adopting  a  standard  of  nomenclature  for  the 
description  of  the  colours  of  natural  objects,  remarked  :* — 

"  In  the  Animal  Kingdom  the  number  of  colours  is  very 
great.  They  often  form  the  most  striking  feature  in  the  external 
appearance    of    species,    and    hence    have    been    considered   by 

*  Proc.  Zool.  Sec.  1882,  p.  391. 

NOTICES    OF    NEW   BOOKS.  21  \i 

systematists  as  affording  distinguishing  characters  of  much 
value.  But  an  object  may  be  described  as  of  one  colour  by 
one  person,  and  be  taken  by  another  person  for  quite  a  different 
tint ;  for  the  names  of  colours  are  frequently  misapplied,  and 
one  name  is  often  indisciiminately  given  to  many  colours. 
Hence  arises  an  uncertainty  in  reading  and  a  perplexity  in 
writing  a  description  which  would  be  obviated  were  some 
standard  of  nomenclature  available  for  general  reference. 

"  So  long  ago  as  1831  there  appeared  a  manual  the  utility  of 
which  seems  to  have  been  quite  lost  sight  of,  owing,  perhaps, 
chiefly  to  the  fact  that  it  has  long  been  out  of  print  and  difficult 
to  procure,  namely,  Werner's  '  Nomenclature  of  Colours,'  edited 
by  Syme." 

This  work,  excellent  in  principle,  was  designed  to  meet  the 
very  want  which  he  now  ventured  to  express,  but  which  was 
hardly  experienced  at  the  date  of  its  publication,  inasmuch  as  it 
was  not  then  the  general  practice  to  publish  the  careful  and 
detailed  descriptions  of  species  with  which  we  are  now  familiar. 

Assuming  the  want  of  such  a  standard  nomenclature,  and  the 
desirability  of  satisfying  it,  the  writer  was  of  opinion  that  the 
publication  of  a  new  edition  of  Werner's  Manual,  under  the 
auspices  of  the  Zoological  Society,  would  ensure  a  speedy  adop- 
tion of  the  standard,  and  would  be  the  means  of  obviating  in 
future  the  confusion  hitherto  prevailing  for  want  of  it. 

The  suggestion  having  been  taken  up  by  Mr.  Ridgwaj',  and 
carefully  considered,  has  resulted  in  the  publication  of  the 
volume  now  before  us.  It  is  not  a  new  edition  of  Werner's 
Manual,  however,  but  an  entirely  original  work,  divided  into  two 
parts,  and  covering  a  much  larger  field  than  that  traversed  by 

Part  I.,  on  the  Nomenclature  of  Colours,  contains  remarks  on 
the  principles  of  colour ;  on  colours  required  by  the  zoological 
or  botanical  artist ;  and  includes  a  comparative  vocabulary  of 
colours,  in  seven  languages ;  and  a  bibliography  containing  the 
titles  of  seven  works  only,  the  subject  being  one  on  which  it 
would  seem  that  very  little  has  been  published. 

Part  II.,  entitled  the  "Ornithologist's  Compendium,"  includes 
a  glossary  of  technical  terms,  and  tables  for  converting  milli- 
metres into  English  inches  and  decimals,  and  vice  versa.  Seven- 
teen plates  show  the  various  shades  (which  are  named)  of  all  the 


primary  colours  with  their  combinations,  and  figures  illustrating 
the  internal  anatomy  and  wing-surfaces  of  a  bird,  colour  markings, 
egg  contours,  and  a  comparative  scale  of  measurement  standard — 
a  veritable  multum  in  parvo. 

With  regard  to  the  patterns  of  colours,  we  find  about  twenty 
shades  of  each  rej^resented  on  each  plate  in  small  oblong  squares, 
with  the  names  immediately  below  them,  and  on  the  opposite 
page  an  indication  of  the  colours  which  when  combined  will 
produce  them.  On  the  whole  the  result  appears  satisfactory, 
but  we  may  point  out  that  the  plates  being  hand-coloured  there 
must  obviously  be  a  risk  of  variation  in  difi'erent  copies  of  the 
book — a  difficulty  which  was  obviated  in  Werner's  Manual  by 
having  every  shade  of  colour  printed  in  sheets  which  were  cut  out 
into  small  pieces  of  the  size  required,  and  pasted  on  to  the  plates. 
In  addition  to  this,  and  in  order  to  illustrate  his  meaning  better, 
Werner  gave  the  name  of  such  species  in  the  animal,  vegetable, 
and  mineral  kingdoms  as  have  the  particular  shade  of  colour 
mentioned — an  excellent  plan  to  prevent  misconception  which 
Mr.  Eidgway  might  have  adopted  with  advantage. 

Another  point  for  criticism  which  occurs  to  us  is  this :  in 
naming  and  figuring  a  particular  colour,  it  seems  to  us  that 
Mr.  Ridgway's  views  do  not  always  coincide  with  popular  notions 
on  the  subject.  To  take  various  shades  of  green,  for  example : 
his  "  malachite-green  "  (No.  6)  does  not  correspond  to  the  colour 
of  that  mineral,  which  resembles  rather  what  he  names  "  viridian 
green"  (No.  8),  or  "sea-green"  (No.  5),  while  his  "pea-green" 
(No.  9)  reminds  us  rather  of  the  dried  than  of  the  fresh  pea,  and 
his  "emerald-green"  (No.  16)  is  not  the  colour  of  an  emerald. 
It  may  perhaps  be  said  that  these  are  really  the  shades  which  are 
known  to  artists  and  artists'  colourmen  by  these  particular  names. 
If  so  the  author  must  be  absolved  from  blame,  and  we  can  only 
regret  that  the  nomenclature  has  not  been  more  accurately 

Mr.  Ridgway's  book  in  many  respects  will  be  found  extremely 
useful  to  working  naturalists,  and  the  adoption  by  them  of  his 
standard  of  nomenclature,  by  securing  uniformity,  will  obviate  in 
future  a  deal  of  misconception  which  at  present  arises  whenever 
the  colours  of  a  new  species  are  loosely  or  inconsiderately 



VoL.XL]  AUGUST,    1887.  [No.  J 28. 


In  'The  Zoologist'  for  May,  1882,  we  gave  a  translation 
from  the  German  of  an  interesting  article  on  this  subject  con- 
tributed by  Dr.  A.  Eabus  to  *  Der  Zoologische  Garten.'  A  further 
contribution  to  the  subject  by  Prof.  Forel  has  since  appeared  in 
the  •  Eevue  de  I'hypnotism,'  and  as  this  journal  is  not  likely  to 
come  under  the  notice  of  many  of  our  readers,  they  may  perhaps 
be  glad  to  see  the  article  in  question  in  an  English  dress.  We  have 
accordingly  translated  it,  premising  that  while  the  observations 
of  Dr.  Rabus  relate  to  our  well-known  Myoxus  avellanarius,  those 
of  Professor  Forel  have  reference  to  its  congener,  Myoxus  glis, 
a  common  species  in  the  South  of  Europe.    Prof.  Forel  says  : — 

"  While  residing  at  Munich  I  was  offered  two  Dormice,  whose 
owner  wished  to  get  rid  of  them  after  having  been  bitten.  He 
gave  them  to  me  in  winter,  and  I  was  much  astonished  at  not 
receiving  them  in  a  state  of  sleep.  On  the  contrary,  they  were 
quite  active— a  circumstance  which  I  attributed  to  the  heat  of  the 
room.  I  put  them  in  a  large  wire  cage  from  five  to  six  feet  high, 
m  the  centre  of  which  there  was  a  small  fir  tree.  I  also  allowed 
the  little  creatures  the  run  of  the  room.  Throughout  the  winter 
they  continued  lively  and  active,  eating  an  enormous  quantity  of 
walnuts  and  hazel-nuts.  As  soon  as  one  of  them  had  laboriously 
gnawed  one  through,  the  other  came  stealthily  and  tried  to  take 
It  away  from  him.  They  were  always  spiteful,  ever  ready  to  bite. 
After  having  been  fed  all  through  the  spring  they  became  very 




fat,  and  I  was  not  a  little  astonished  to  see  them  one  after 
another,  in  the  month  of  May,  fall  into  their  lethargic  sleep, 
which,  according  to  all  I  had  read  in  books,  ought  only  to 
have  occurred  in  winter  under  the  influence  of  cold.  They 
became  as  slothful  as  little  bears — their  movements  got  slower  and 
slower ;  finally  they  squatted  in  a  corner  and  became  completely 

"  In  this  condition  their  temperature  became  lowered,  their 
respiratory  action  became   slower,   and  their  lips  presented  an 
ashy  appearance.     The  little  animals,  placed  in  the  open  air,  and 
at  first  more  or  less  rolled  up,  ended  by  remaining  half  extended 
on  their  backs ;    nevertheless  on  being  pricked  they  made  certain 
reflex  movements,  especially  a  feeble  grunting  or  whistling,  and 
by  dint  of  exciting  them  I  was  able  for  a  moment  to  instil  a  little 
life  into  them.     But  as  soon  as  I  left  them  quiet  they  relapsed 
into  their  lethargy.     I  then  made  a  rather  curious  experiment : 
I  took  one  of  the  Dormice  and  placed  it  on  the  top  of  the  little 
fir  tree  in  the  middle  of  the  cage.     Although  it  was  asleep  it  was 
suflicient  to  make  it  touch  a  slender  branch   with  the  plantar 
surface  of  its  paws  to  excite  a  reflex  contraction,  which  made  it 
grasp  the  branch  which  it  would  instinctively  have  done  if  awake. 
I  then  let  go,  leaving  him  thus  suspended  to  his  branch.     He 
relapsed   by    degrees   into    somnolency.       The    muscles    of   the 
grasping  paw  slowly  relaxed,  the  plantar  surface  extended  began 
to  hold  the  branch  only  at  its   extremity  near  the   claws,  and 
I  feared  my  Dormouse  was  going  to  fall ;   but  at  the  moment  of 
losing  its  equilibrium  a  sort  of  instinctive  spasm  shot  through  its 
nervous  system,  and  another  paw  seized  the  lower  branch  next 
within  reach  in  such  a  way  that  the  animal  only  came  down  a  peg. 
Then   the    same    performance   was   repeated.       The    Dormouse 
relapsed  into  sleep  at  first,  the  foot  slowly  relaxed  its  hold  up 
to  the  moment  of  letting  go,  when  the  other  paw  caught  hold  of 
a  lower  branch ;    thus  it  descended,  sleeping  without  falling,  the 
whole  way  down  the  fir  tree  from  top  to  bottom,  until  it  reached 
the  floor  of  the  cage,  where  it  remained  in  a  state  of  lethargy. 
I  repeated  the  experiment  several  times  with  the  two  Dormice, 
always  with  the  same  result ;  neither  of  them  ever  allowed  itself 
to  fall. 

"  The  sleep  of  these  Dormice — occasionally  interrupted  by  a 
day  or  a  few  hours  awakening,   more  or  less  complete,   during 


which  time  they  ate  a  little  — lasted  the  greater  part  of  the 
summer,  and  by  degrees  entirely  ceased  in  the  month  of  August : 
they  had  slept  throughout  the  greatest  heat  of  June  and  July. 
Towards  the  end  of  this  lethargic  sleep  they  became  considerably 
attenuated,  though  less  so,  however,  than  one  would  have 
expected.  Their  body  temperature  taken  during  their  lethargic 
sleep  was  from  20  to  22  degrees  centigrade. 

"  From  these  facts  it  clearly  results  that  the  so-called  winter- 
sleep  of  the  Dormouse  cannot  be  directly  due  to  the  lowering 
of  its  temperature ;  perhaps  the  state  of  their  nutrition— the 
amassing  of  fat  in  their  tissues — is  the  cause,  or  one  of  the 
principal  causes.  But  it  seems  that  this  condition,  whatever  its 
cause,  is  akin  to  catalepsy  and  hypnotic  sleep.  On  this  account 
it  seems  to  me  that  the  study  of  hypnotism  in  the  Dormouse 
possesses  considerable  interest,  and  I  should  be  glad  if  the 
perusal  of  these  remarks  were  to  give  rise  to  further  useful 

By  Oliver  V.  Aplin  and  A.  H.  Macpherson. 

January. — On  the  2nd,  besides  fifty  or  sixty  Mallard  and 
Duck,  sixty-five  Pochards  and  five  Tufted  Ducks  were  seen  upon 
Clattercutt  Eeservoir.  A  male  Merlin  was  shot  close  to  Oxford 
in  the  early  part  of  the  month.  Sparrowhawks  were  common 
throughout  the  winter  about  Oxford,  when  they  might  almost  be 
called  winter  visitors,  as  they  are  very  scarce  in  summer.  A 
variety  of  the  Song  Thrush,  having  the  top  of  the  head  pure 
white,  was  shot  on  Headington  Hill,  and  is  now  in  M.'s  collection. 
A  male  Lesser  Spotted  Woodpecker  was  shot  at  Great  Bourton 
on  the  9th.  A  Coot,  frozen  out,  was  captured  in  a  garden  on  the 
outskirts  of  Banbury  on  the  21st.  A  grey  Goose  of  some  kind 
was  seen  flying  over  Banbury  on  the  23rd.  A  large  flock  of 
Fieldfares  at  the  end  of  the  month  frequented  the  vicinity  of 
Clattercutt  Reservoir,  coming  down  to  drink  at  one  or  two  un- 
frozen holes,  the  ice  around  being  considerably  discoloured  by 
them.  A  rather  light-coloured  Short-eared  Owl,  the  only  one 
heard  of  during  the  winter,  was  shot  near  Wroxton  on  the  27th. 
Some  very  large  flocks  of  Wood  Pigeons  were  observed  in  the 


north  of  the  county  at  the  end  of  the  month ;  on  the  30th,  two 
flocks  winging  their  way  to  roost  in  the  Aynhoe  Woods  must 
have  numbered  two  hundred  each. 

February.  —  A  very  dark-coloured  male  specimen  of  the 
Common  Buzzard  was  trapped  at  Horton  on  the  5th.  A  male 
Bittern  was  shot  at  Merton  on  the  8th.  A  Waxwing  was  seen  by 
Mr.  W.  Wyatt  on  the  outskirts  of  Banbury  on  the  13th ;  he  was 
able  to  get  pretty  close  to  it,  and  watched  it  for  some  time ;  Mr. 
Wyatt  is  well  acquainted  with  the  bird,  having  preserved  two  or 
three  specimens.  A  specimen  of  that  unusual  visitor  to  Oxford- 
shire, the  Dipper  (now  in  F.  C.  A.'s  collection),  was  shot  by  a 
small  stream  in  the  northern  extremity  of  the  county,  near  Farn- 
borough,  on  the  20th.  A  pied  variety  of  the  Jackdaw  was  shot 
near  Oxford  this  month.  On  the  9th,  in  a  flock  of  about  seventy 
Ring  Doves  near  Oxford,  M.  saw  one  apparently  nearly  pure 
white.  Throughout  January  and  February  Bramblings  were 
unusually  numerous  about  Oxford  ;  a  very  richly-coloured  speci-- 
men  was  shot  there  at  the  end  of  the  latter  month,  which  had 
almost  assumed  its  full  spring  dress ;  another  had  its  flanks  of  a 
reddish  orange  ;  the  earliest  we  heard  of  was  shot  in  the  north  of 
the  county  on  January  lUth;  about  the  end  of  February  a  boy 
took  forty  in  his  bat-fowling  nets  near  Wroxton. 

March. — The  weather  was  excessively  severe  during  the  first 
half  of  the  month,  and  all  the  Thrushes  suff"ered  greatly,  but  none 
so  much  as  the  Fieldfares  ;  numbers  of  these  were  caught  by  the 
hand— too  weak  to  fly.  The  supply  of  haws  being  exhausted, 
and  the  few  remaining  being  in  a  dry  and  shrivelled  condition, 
the  birds  had  great  difiiculty  in  obtaining  food  ;  one  shot  on  the 
6th  had  been  feeding  upon  half-rotten  swedes  in  the  sheep-pens, 
and  the  whole  bird,  the  intestines  especially,  was  thoroughly 
impregnated  with  the  smell.  During  the  summer,  when  looking 
for  nests,  it  was  quite  a  common  occurrence  to  find  the  remains  of 
a  Fieldfare  in  the  middle  of  the  hedge.  About  150  Bramblings 
were  killed  at  three  shots  near  Balscot  in  the  first  days  of 
the  month.  Three  birds  received  by  A.  from  that  place,  shot  on 
the  third,  had  lost  nearly  all  the  brown  feather-edges  of  winter; 
one  had  a  black  chin  ;  two  more  were  shot  at  Wroxton  on  the  4th. 
Mr.  W.  W.  Fowler  informs  us  that  four  Curlews  were  seen  close 
to  the  village  of  Kingham  about  the  12th  of  the  month.  One 
Hooded   Crow   was   seen   by   M.   feeding   with    some   Rooks  in 


Christchuvch  Meadow  on  the  13th.  Two  days  after,  one  was  shot 
about  six  miles  from  Oxford,  and  a  third  was  killed  near  Banbury 
on  the  30th;  this  is  an  usually  late  date  for  them  to  linger  in 
Oxfordshire.  A  Great  Crested  Grebe  in  full  nuptial  dress  was 
killed  on  the  Isis  at  Sandford  on  the  7th  ;  they  were  delayed  by 
the  ice  from  returning  to  Clattercutt  Reservoir  until  the  28th ;  in 
mild  seasons  they  appear  a  month  earlier.  Tufted  Ducks  having 
been  frozen  out  since  the  early  part  of  January  (the  ice  bearing 
skaters  up  to  the  middle  of  this  month),  a  male  and  female  put  in 
an  appearance  on  Clattercutt  on  the  28th ;  they  were  evidently 
paired,  the  drake  closely  following  his  partner  with  an  air  of 
proud  proprietorship ;  and  it  was  hoped  that  they  might  remain 
to  breed,  but  they  disappeared  shortly  after. 

April. —  A  male  Ring  Ouzel  was  shot  on  Headington  Hill 
early  in  the  month.  A  pair  of  Nuthatches  were  observed  by  A. 
on  the  14th,  carrying  nesting  materials  into  a  hole  about  thirty- 
five  feet  up  in  the  trunk  of  an  elm  tree  on  Bloxham  Grove,  from 
which  he  had  eggs  more  than  twelve  years  before ;  the  clutch  of 
seven  fresh  eggs  were  taken  at  the  end  of  the  first  week  in  May. 
Mr.  W.  Fowler  observed  a  pair  of  Pied  Flycatchers  in  a  field 
studded  with  trees  at  Kingham  on  the  24th.  On  the  same  day  a 
beautiful  exam|)le  of  the  Lesser  Tern  was  shot  close  to  the  barges 
on  the  river  at  Oxford.  One  Black  Tern  was  shot,  on  the  30th, 
on  the  canal  above  Banbury.  On  the  night  of  the  24th  a  Night- 
ingale flew  against  a  window  in  Banbury,  and  was  picked  up  dead. 
A  Hoopoe  was  seen  at  Elsfield  on  the  26th. 

May. — We  are  able  to  record  the  third  occurrence  of  the 
White  Wagtail  in  the  county,  M.  having  observed  one  on  the 
river-bank  above  Oxford  on  the  4th.  A  specimen  of  the  Common 
Sandpiper  was  observed  on  the  bank  at  Clattercutt  on  the  1st, 
but  had  disappeared  the  next  day.  On  the  river  above  Oxford 
four  were  seen  on  the  4th ;  they  make  but  a  very  short  stay  with 
us  at  this  season.  The  Turtle  Dove  was  observed  at  Great 
Bourton  on  the  8th  by  both  recorders ;  this  is  an  early  date  for 
its  arrival.  Hirundines  suffered  greatly  from  the  stormy  weather 
in  the  second  week  {vide  Zool.  1886,  p.  300).  An  adult  Black 
Tern  was  shot  on  the  river  at  Oxford  on  the  7th.  A  female 
Whimbrel  was  killed  at  Thame  on  the  Sist ;  although  of  not  very 
uncommon  occurrence  upon  the  spring  migration,  it  is  extremely 
rare  in   autumn.     On  the   17th  a  curious  light  variety  of  the 


Yellow  Bunting  was  shot  close  to  Oxford.  An  immature  Lesser 
Black-backed  Gull  was  shot  on  Port  Meadow,  Oxford,  on  the  i2th. 
On  the  same  evening  a  flock  of  Gulls,  all  immature  and  either 
L.  fuscus  or  L.  argentatiis,  passed  over  Oxford,  flying  north,  high 
up.  Heav}'  rain  fell  on  and  off  from  the  11th  until  the  14th; 
wind  N.E.,  backing  to  N.W. ;  very  large  floods  in  the  valleys. 
Mr.  Warner  reports  that  during  a  stormy  week  in  May  (probably 
the  second)  a  flock  of  the  Common  Tern  was  noticed  at  New- 
bridge in  company  with  Swallows  and  Martins,  playing  about 
over  the  surface  of  the  water  for  a  day  or  two.  M.  saw  one  in 
the  distance  at  Oxford  on  the  12th,  and  a  flock  of  eight  were  seen 
on  the  upper  river  near  Godstow  about  the  end  of  the  month. 

June. — One  specimen  of  the  Lesser  Tern  was  seen  by  M. 
flying  about  over  the  river  above  Oxford  on  the  2nd.  Four 
immature  specimens  of  the  Common  Gull  were  seen  flying  over 
Port  Meadow  on  the  I'Jth.  On  the  same  day  two  large  Gulls, 
either  L.  fuscus  or  L.  argentatus,  were  flying  over  the  river  at 
Sandford ;  weather  cold,  with  wind  in  the  east  about  this  time. 
M.  saw  a  Grey  Wagtail  on  the  banks  of  the  Cherwell  near  Islip 
on  the  26th  ;  it  is  extremely  rare  with  us  in  summer.  Although 
common  enough  in  the  reed-beds  of  the  Cherwell  at  Oxford,  and 
spreading  thence  into  the  thickets  and  bushes  of  the  "  Parks," 
the  Reed  Warbler  is  decidedly  rare  in  the  north  of  the  county. 
On  the  evening  of  the  27th  A.  heard  one  singing  in  a  large  bed  of 
rushes  at  the  upper  end  of  Clattercutt,  and  in  July  detected  its 
presence  also  in  an  osier-bed  on  the  Swere  where  it  flows  into  the 
Cherwell.  A  pair  of  Grasshopper  Warblers  probably  nested  in 
the  mowing  grass  of  a  meadow  between  Bourton  and  Hanwell,  as 
the  male  sung  there  nightly ;  they  are  found  annually  on  the 
small  remaining  portion  of  Hanwell  Heath,  a  short  distance  off. 
A  pair  of  Bullfinches,  forsaking  their  usual  habit  of  seeking  soli- 
tude in  the  breeding  season,  nested  this  year  in  a  belt  of  thick 
yew  trees  which  border  a  much-frequented  path  in  Mr.  F.  C. 
Aplin's  garden  at  Bodicote,  within  a  dozen  yards  of  the  house. 

July.  —  Mr.  W.  Fowler  having  seen  a  Red-backed  Shrike  at 
Kingham  on  the  8th,  made  a  careful  search  for  pellets,  and  found 
among  other  things  two  portions  of  the  shrivelled  skin  of  a  Water 
Shrew  {S.  fodiens),  each  forming  a  complete  ring.  Mr.  Warner 
reports  that,  on  the  13th,  a  young  specimen  of  the  Long-eared 
Owl  was  seen  in  broad  daylight  perched  on  a  fence  near  Stanton 


Harcourt ;  as  a  resident  it  is  decidedly  rare  with  us.  Two 
examples  of  the  Egyptian  Goose  were  shot  near  Cowley  about  the 
middle  of  the  month;  they  had  doubtless  strayed  from  some 
ornamental  water ;  though  Mr.  Darbey,  from  whom  we  received 
the  information,  could  hear  of  none  missing  at  that  time,  and 
found  no  marks  of  confinement  on  them.  A  white  variety  of  the 
Swallow,  a  young  bird,  was  shot  at  Hampton  Doyle  early  in  the 

August.  —  A  female  Wheatear  was  seen  by  A.  near  Banbury 
on  the  13th;  may  possibly  have  nested  in  the  district,  migrants 
being  seldom  seen  until  the  first  or  second  week  in  September. 
At  the  close  of  summer  the  disastrous  effect  upon  Swallows  and 
Martins  of  the  cold  stormy  weather  in  May  could  be  clearly 
traced  in  the  small  numbers  to  be  seen  in  the  air  after  the  second 
broods  had  flown,  and  when  in  an  ordinary  year  they  should  have 

September.  —  When  shooting  near  Nell  Bridge  this  month, 
we  noticed  a  large  nest  placed  in  one  of  a  row  of  four  trees  in  the 
meadows.     The  tenant  told  us  that  a  pair  of  Herons  came  and 
built  it  just  before  haymaking  time  (end  of  June),  and  that  being 
disturbed  when  the  grass  was  cut,  they  left,  but  returned  when 
the  fields  were  quiet  again ;  no  young  seem  to  have  been  hatched. 
There  is  no  heronry  in  the  neighbourhood,  but  the  birds  are  con- 
stantly to  be  seen  about  there.    The  first  Snipe  was  seen  and  shot 
there  on  the  18th.    The  Common  Sandpiper  was  observed  on  the 
Cherwell  near  Nell  Bridge  on  the  15th.     A  Hooded  Crow  was 
shot  at  the  beginning  of  the  month  at  Oxford ;  this  is  an  early 
date  for  it  to  arrive  in  the  county,  and,  considering  that  examples 
were  observed  up  to  the  end  of  March,  it  seems  possible  that  the 
species  may  have  bred  in  the  Midlands  this  year.     A  specimen  of 
the  Kedshank  was  shot  at  Chorton,  near  Islip,  in  the  early  part 
of  the  month.     An  interesting  variety  of  the  Corn  Bunting  was 
shot  at  Marsden  ;  it  had  evidently  been  entirely  white,  and  was 
killed  in  the  middle  of  its  autumn  moult  while  reverting  to  its 
normal  plumage ;  a  few  normal  feathers  showed  on  the  breast, 
and  some  of  the  new  primaries  had  appeared  ;  the  majority  of  the 
new  tail-feathers  had  also  come  in  ;  the  old  primaries  and  rectrices 
were  very  much  worn,  and  quite  "hairy";  it  is  now  in  M.'s  col- 
lection.    A  white  variety  of  the  Linnet  tinged  with  buff  was  also 
shot  during  this  month  at  Hinksey,  and  is  now  in  M.'s  collection. 


Two  varieties  of  the  Stock  Dove  were  shot  on  Shotover  Hill,  near 
Oxford,  about  the  first  week  in  September ;  one,  a  very  pretty 
variety,  mottled  with  cream-colour,  has  been  described  in  '  The 
Field'  (October)  by  Mr.  J.  Whitaker,  in  whose  collection  it  now 
is  ;  the  other  had  nothing  abnormal  about  it,  except  its  primaries 
and  rectrices,  which  were  of  a  nut-brown.  A  Curlew  was  shot  at 
Heyford  during  this  month.  A  clutch  of  ten  fresh  eggs  of  the 
Quail  was  taken  at  Standlake  at  the  end  of  the  month. 

October.  —  Mr.  AVarner  informs  us  that  a  Wheatear  lingered 
until  the  early  part  of  the  month,  and  was  seen  by  him  at  Stand- 
lake.  A  Redwing  arrived  in  North  Oxon  on  the  9th,  and  a 
Fieldfare  at  Oxford  on  the  21st.  A  male  Grey  Phalarope,  in 
M.'s  collection,  was  shot  at  Bletchingdon  on  the  18th.  The 
Brambling  was  first  seen  on  the  30th  near  Oxford.  During  the 
second  week  in  the  month  large  numbers  of  Common  Terns 
visited  Oxford,  and  many  of  them  were  shot.  On  the  36th,  M. 
saw  a  Sedge  Warbler  close  to  the  river  above  Oxford ;  it  tried  to 
sing,  but  could  only  manage  a  few  notes,  and  looked  the  picture 
of  misery,  as  the  wind  was  verj'  cold.  A  beautiful  variety  of  the 
Ring  Dove  was  shot  near  Banbury  on  the  27th,  having  been 
observed  about  the  place  since  the  previous  winter,  when  it 
accompanied  a  large  flock.  The  mantle  and  wings  are  dove- 
coloured,  mottled  with  a  little  white ;  primaries  light  brown, 
marked  with  white;  tail  brownish;  lower  back  a  delicate  lavender, 
otherwise  normal.  The  man  who  shot  it  said  it  looked  almost 
white  on  the  wing.  It  is  now  in  Mr.  Whitaker's  collection.  At 
the  end  of  the  month  we  had  a  considerable  flight  of  Snipe,  about 
forty  full  birds  and  two  Jacks  being  flushed  from  one  or  two 
meadows  at  Nell  Bridge ;  two  days  after,  they  had  all  departed. 
Large  numbers  of  Peewits  on  the  20th,  and  the  meadows  black 
with  Starlings.  Some  Teal  also  at  that  time.  Two  Pochards 
had  arrived  at  Clattercutt  on  the  30th,  on  which  day  a  Crested 
Grebe  was  seen  in  full  winter  dress. 

November. — A  drake  Shoveller  was  shot  on  Otmoor  on  the  12th, 
where  a  good  many  Teal  were  bagged  in  the  middle  of  the  month. 

December. — A  fine  male  of  the  white  variety  of  the  Pheasant 
(with  normal  irides)  was  shot  at  Elsfield  on  the  21st.  A  fine 
adult  male  Goldeneye  and  two  in  brown  plumage,  together  with 
twelve  Tufted  Ducks,  four  Pochards,  and  some  thirty  or  forty 
Wild  Ducks,  were  seen  on  Clattercutt  on  the  11th. 

(     289     ) 


By  G.  W.  Griffin, 
U.S.  Consul,  Sydney,  N.S.  Wales, 

The  pearl-shell  fisheries  of  Torres  Strait  belong  to  the  colony 
of  Queensland,  and  are  situated  1500  miles  from  Brisbane,  and 
more  than  2000  miles  from  Sydney.  Torres  Strait  is  about 
eighty  miles  in  width,  and  separates  Queensland  from  the  island 
of  New  Guinea.  The  navigation  of  the  Strait,  although  said  to 
be  safe  and  practicable,  is  in  fact  very  difiScult,  on  account  of  the 
innumerable  islands,  reefs,  and  shoals  scattered  about.  The  chief 
places  at  which  the  fisheries  are  conducted  are  Wai  Weer,  Albany 
Island,  Jervis  Island,  Endeavour  Strait,  Fi'idaj'  Island,  Prince  of 
Wales  Islands,  and  Possession  Island. 

Wages  of  the  Men. — A  good  diver  can  earn  from  sixty  to 
one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  per  month.  He  usually  signs 
shii^ping  articles  for  a  period  not  exceeding  three  years,  at  a  fixed 
sum  per  month  and  an  interest  in  the  catch  or  lay.  Mr.  Ba3'ne, 
of  Sydney,  the  owner  of  an  important  station  at  Prince  of  Wales 
Islands,  who  for  many  years  has  been  engaged  in  peai'l-shell 
fishing,  states  that  several  divers  in  his  employ  have  earned  as 
much  as  three  hundred  dollars  per  month.  The  divers  and  crews 
are  composed  of  South  Sea  Islanders,  Malays,  and  a  few  Chinese 
and  Lascars.  The  diver  is  the  captain  of  the  boat,  and  the  other 
men  obey  his  orders.  The  duties  of  the  tender  consist  in  waiting 
on  the  diver,  helping  him  to  dress,  and  looking  after  him  while  in 
the  water.  The  pay  of  the  tender  is  from  ten  to  twelve  dollars 
per  month,  with  a  small  interest  in  the  catch,  generally  from  one- 
sixtieth  to  one-eightieth  part  of  the  value  of  the  shells.  Each  of 
the  vessels  generally  has  one  diver  and  four  tenders,  who  compose 
the  crew.  The  tenders  are  engaged  on  regular  shipping  articles, 
and  are  paid  off  like  any  other  merchant  seamen.  Mr.  Henry  M. 
Chester,  the  resident  magistrate  at  Thursday  Island,  says,  in  a 
recent  report  on  the  fisheries,  that  the  natives  are  never  over- 
worked, and  that  they  are  always  well  fed  and  kindly  treated. 
He  further  says  that  payment  is  usually  made  them  in  blankets, 
clothing,  knives,  hatchets,  and  beads,  and  that  whenever  they  are 

-  Reprinted  from  the  'Bulletin  U.S.  Fish  Commission,'  vol.  vi.  (1887), 
pp.  433—435. 


dissatisfied  with  what  they  receive  they  seek  other  employment. 
Mr.  Chester  is  of  opinion  that  the  competition  for  their  services 
is  of  such  a  character  as  to  secure  for  them  fair  treatment.  All 
the  available  adult  population  of  the  island  are  employed  as 
swimming  divers,  under  the  "  Masters  and  Servants  Act,"  and 
while  their  pay  is  small,  it  is  made  in  the  presence  of  the  local 
authorities,  and  all  the  old  men,  women,  and  children  receive  food 
in  seasons  of  scai'city.  Mr.  Chester  admits,  however,  that  the 
occupation  of  a  diver  is  dangerous,  and  not  at  all  conducive  to 
longevity,  but  adds  that  the  loss  of  life  among  the  natives  from 
such  causes  is  more  than  counterbalanced  by  the  abundant 
supply  of  wholesome  food  given  them,  and  by  the  decrease  in 
infanticide  and  other  savage  practices  to  which  they  were  formerly 

Methods  of  Fishing. — The  method  pursued  in  pearl  fishing 
is  for  a  number  of  vessels  to  start  out  together  and  fish  on  the 
same  ground.  Each  vessel  carries  supplies  to  last  a  fortnight. 
When  in  about  eight  fathoms  of  water,  if  the  tide  is  slack,  the 
diver  will  jump  overboard.  His  boots  are  heavily  weighted  with 
lead,  so  as  to  hasten  his  descent.  Upon  reaching  the  bottom  he 
walks  leisurely  along  until  he  comes  to  a  patch  of  shells ;  then 
he  signals  to  the  boat  to  cast  anchor.  He  carries  with  him  a 
sack  or  bag  to  hold  the  shells,  and  as  soon  as  it  is  filled  it  is 
lifted  up,  emptied  out,  and  sent  down  to  him  again,  he  being  able 
to  remain  under  water  several  hours  at  a  time.  Some  divers 
remain  down  from  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  until  five  in  the 
afternoon.  The  Pearl-oysters  lie  on  the  ground,  with  the  shells 
partly  open,  and  great  care  is  required  in  handling  them,  for  if 
touched  in  the  wrong  way  they  will  close  upon  the  hand  like  a 
vice.  Accidents  of  this  kind  not  unfrequently  happen  to  inexpe- 
rienced divers,  who  are  obliged  to  signal  those  above  to  lift  them 
up  and  remove  the  Pearl-oyster  from  their  hands.  The  monsoons 
which  blow  in  the  Strait  from  May  until  the  end  of  September 
are  often  so  severe  that  boats  have  to  lay  up  for  as  much  as  ten 
days  at  a  time.  The  average  catch  for  each  boat  is  from  one  ton 
to  a  ton  and  a  half  shells  per  month.  Unlike  the  fisheries  in 
Cej'lon  and  the  Persian  Gulf,  there  is  little  or  no  difficulty  in 
collecting  the  shells,  for  they  either  lie  loose  on  the  ground  or 
are  only  partially  buried  in  the  mud  or  sand.  The  fisheries  off 
the  coast  of  West  Australia,  and  especially  at  Shark  Bay,  produce 


the  true  Pearl-oyster,  Avicula  margaritifera.  For  a  long  time 
this  shell  was  supposed  to  be  valueless  on  account  of  its  thin  and 
fragile  structure,  but  now  there  is  a  great  demand  for  it  both  in 
America  and  in  Europe.  It  is  especially  prized  by  the  French 
and  German  artists  for  fine  inlaid  cabinet  work.  The  young  or 
chicken  shell  is  the  best,  and  commands  the  highest  price.  When 
the  Pearl-oyster  is  five  or  six  years  old  the  shells  become  blistered 
and  wormy,  and  it  is  said  the  oyster  dies  about  the  age  of 
seven  years.  The  divers  in  fishing  make  no  effort  to  select  any 
particular  shell,  but  take  every  one  that  they  can  get,  even  the 
dead  shells,  which  have  the  least  value  of  any,  on  account  of 
various  blemishes,  rottenness,  lack  of  lustre,  &c.  Pure-white 
silver-edged  shells  are  the  best.  The  oysters  in  the  West 
Australia  fisheries  are  generally  obtained  by  passing  an  iron 
dredge  over  the  banks,  but  divers  are  also  employed.  Pearl- 
oysters  are  gregarious  in  their  habits,  and  whenever  one  is  met 
with  it  is  almost  certain  that  numbers  of  others  will  be  found  in 
the  immediate  neighbourhood.  Divers  are  expert  swimmei's,  and 
they  go  down  to  a  depth  of  four  or  five  fathoms,  where  it  is  said 
some  of  them  can  remain  two  minutes.  The  occupation  is  an 
unwholesome  one,  and  soon  produces  deafness  and  diseases  of 
the  chest  and  lungs.  Blood  not  unfrequently  flows  from  the 
mouth,  ears,  and  nostrils  after  the  usual  dip  of  forty  or  fifty 
seconds,  which  is  repeated  fifty  or  sixty  times  a  day.  The  men 
also  run  the  risk  of  being  eaten  by  Sharks,  although  death  from 
this  cause  is  not  apt  to  occur  except  in  untried  fishing-gx'ounds, 
as  the  noise  of  the  divers  is  almost  certain  to  drive  the  Sharks 

The  Pearl  Stations.  —  All  the  pearl-fishing  stations  in 
Torres  Strait  bear  a  close  resemblance  to  one  another,  and 
consist  of  a  small  but  nice-looking  residence  for  the  manager 
and  one  of  less  pretension  for  the  men,  a  warehouse  for  storing 
provisions,  &c.,  and  several  sheds  for  dr3'ing  the  shells.  Before 
the  shells  are  brought  to  the  station  the  boats  usually  run  into 
land,  and  the  men  open  the  oysters,  take  out  the  pearls,  if  any, 
and  throw  the  soft  parts  overboard.  The  shells  are  then  roughly 
cleaned  and  stowed  under  the  hatches.  At  the  end  of  the  voyage 
they  are  taken  to  the  station,  where  they  are  counted  and 
thoroughly  cleaned.  The  shells  are  then  assorted  and  dried,  and 
after  the  outer  edges  are  chipped  off  they  are  packed  in  cases, 

292  THE    ZOOLOftlST. 

each  case  weighing  from  270  to  300  pounds,  and  are  ready  for 
shipment.  No  systematic  effort  has  yet  been  made  to  collect 
pearls  at  Torres  Strait,  and  such  as  are  found  become  the 
property  of  the  men,  who  secrete  them  in  various  ways,  often  by 
swallowing  them.  Some  very  fine  specimens  of  pearls  about  the 
size  of  a  hazel-nut,  and  of  remarkable  beauty  and  clearness,  have 
recently  found  their  way  to  the  market  from  Torres  Strait. 
Other  specimens  of  a  much  larger  size  have  been  found  there, 
but  they  were  imperfect  in  shape  and  colour. 

Formation  of  Pearls. — In  oysters  aged  four  years— which 
are  judged  by  the  shells,  weight,  and  appearance — the  best  pearls 
are  found.  The  shell,  like  the  pearl,  is  formed  by  the  secretion 
of  the  animal,  and  is  composed  of  animal  matter  and  lime.  The 
iridescent  hues  on  the  inside  of  the  shell  are  occasioned  by  the 
edges  of  the  thin,  wavy,  concentric  layers  overlapping  one  another 
and  reflecting  the  light.  The  minute  furrows,  containing  trans- 
lucent carbonate  of  lime,  produce  a  series  of  more  or  less  brilliant 
colours,  according  to  the  angle  at  which  the  light  falls  upon  them. 
Occasionally  some  of  the  finest  pearls  are  found  loose  in  the  shell. 
As  many  as  one  hundred  pearls  have  been  found  in  one  oyster, 
but  of  little  or  no  value.  The  pearls  of  the  young  oyster  are 
yellow,  and  in  the  older  oyster  are  of  a  pinkish  hue. 

The  Use  of  Pearl-shells. — The  pearl-shells  shipped  from 
Australia  to  the  United  States  and  Europe  are  used  principally 
for  the  manufacture  of  knife-handles,  shirt-buttons,  &c.  Con- 
siderable quantities  are  also  used  for  papier-mache  and  other 
ornamental  work.  The  pearl  buttons,  shirt-studs,  &c.,  now  made 
in  the  United  States  are  said  to  be  the  best  and  cheapest  in  the 
world — a  fact  due  in  great  measure  to  the  care  used  in  selecting 
the  material  and  to  the  improved  methods  of  cutting. 


To  purify  Water  in  an  Aquarium. —  In  fresh-water  aquaria  the 
introduction  of  a  few  pond-snails  (such  as  Planorbis  corneus,  Pcdudina 
vivipara,  Limnaia  stagnalis,  L.  aiiricularia,  &c.),  \vhich  scour  the  inner 
surface  of  the  glass,  is  tolerably  effective ;  but  a  better  plan  is  suggested 
by  a  writer  in  the  '  Norsk  Fiskeritidende,'  who  recommends  that  to  every 
100  grammes  of  water  there  should  be  added  4  drops  of  a  solution  of 
1  gramme  of  salicylic  acid  in  300  grammes  of  water.     A  gramme  is  equal 


to  rather  more  than  15  grains  (apothecaries'  weight),  480  grains  to  the 
ounce,  and  as  a  gallon  of  water  weighs  10  lbs.  or  70,000  grains,  we  get 
1500  grs.  :  70,000  grs.  :  :  4  drops  :  186f  drops;  or,  roughly  speaking,  we 
may  add  for  every  gallon  of  water  in  the  aquarium  186  drops  (or  one 
dessert-spoonful)  of  the  solution  recommended.  This  recipe,  it  is  said,  will 
keep  the  water  fresh  for  three  months  without  renewal. 


The  Cost  of  Rabbit  Destruction  in  Australia. — The  Hon.  J.  Salamon 
I'ecently  stated,  in  the  Legislative  Council  of  Sydney,  that  up  to  that  time 
7,853,787  Rabbits  had  been  destroyed  and  paid  for  at  a  cost  of  £301,49^. 
This  represents  the  very  large  sum  of  Hid.  per  rabbit,  and,  adding  to  this 
a  proper  proportion  of  the  bonuses  paid  by  stock-breeders,  farmers,  and 
others,  each  Rabbit  killed  is  found  to  have  cost  about  Is.  3d.  In  other 
words,  it  costs  as  much,  or  more,  to  kill  a  Rabbit  in  AustraUa  as  to  buy 
one  in  England. 

On  the  Bats  found  in  Merionethshire. — The  following  notes  on  the 
Bats  inhabiting  this  part  of  Merionethshire  may  prove  useful  to  those  who 
ai'e  interested  in  the  distribution  of  the  British  species.  Up  to  the  present 
time  I  have  obtained  specimens  of  six  species,  five  of  which  occur  more  or 
less  commonly,  though  none  of  them  are  very  abundant.  The  sixth,  the 
Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat,  is  very  sparsely  distributed,  although  it  can  scarcely 
be  called  rare. 

(1).  Vespenigo  noctula. — The  Noctule  is  a  common  species,  although  it 
seems  not  to  have  been  previously  recorded  from  any  part  of  Wales.  It 
frequents  most  of  the  wooded  parts  of  the  district,  especially  such  as  have 
the  hill-sides  covered  with  oak  trees.  I  have  observed  it  plentifully  in  fine 
weather  flying  over  the  extensive  marshes  near  Port  Madoc. 

(2).  Vespenigo  plpistrellus. — This  bat  is  not  nearly  so  abundant  as  in 
most  parts  of  England,  and,  except  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  houses,  is 
probably  outnumbered  by  several  other  species.  Although  the  smallest  of 
the  British  bats,  the  Pipistrelle  frequently  preys  on  rather  large  insects  ; 
the  crane-fly,  Tipula  oleracea,  commonly  known  as  "  daddy-longlegs," 
apparently  forms  a  considerable  portion  of  its  food. 

(3).  Vespertilio  daubentonii.  —  This  is  a  common  species  in  those 
localities  where  it  occurs  ;  but,  from  the  nature  of  its  haunts,  it  might 
easily  be  passed  over  unless  sptscially  looked  for.  It  frequents  pools  of 
stagnant  water,  or  slow-runuiug  rivers,  giving  a  decided  preference  to  the 
latter.  On  any  still  warm  night  it  may  be  seen  flying  slowly  and  steadily 
as  close  us  possible  to  the  surface  of  the  water,  into  which  it  frequently  dips 
its  nose,  probably  for  the  purpose  of  taking  some  floating  insect.  The  cry 
of  Daubenton's  Bat  is  very  weak  and  shrill,  sometimes  prolonged  into  a 
6ort  of  chatter. 


(4).  Vespertilio  mystacinus. — The  Whiskered  Bat  is  probably  the  most 
abundant  species  in  this  district,  being  found  in  all  sorts  of  situations,  in 
company  with  the  Pipistrelle,  which  it  very  much  resembles  in  some  of  its 
habits.  It  differs  considerably,  however,  in  its  choice  of  a  hunting-ground 
and  in  its  flight,  which  is  slow  and  steady  as  in  F.  daubentonii.  The 
Whiskered  Bat  comes  abroad  earlier  in  the  evening  than  the  last-named 
species,  and  usually  selects  for  its  hunting-ground  the  sheltered  ends  of  a 
high  hedge  or  plantation,  or  even  a  cliff,  along  which  it  flies  to  and  fro, 
seldom  rising  as  high  as  the  tops  of  the  trees  or  rocks  nearest  to  it.  When 
cri'ssing  an  open  space  it  generally  keeps  close  to  the  ground.  I  have  never 
observed  this  species  frequenting  the  open  places  in  woods  of  which  the 
Pipistrelle  is  very  fond. 

(6).  Plecotiis  auritus. — Next  to  F.  mystacinus  this  appeal's  to  be  the 
commonest  bat  in  the  district.  Early  in  April  last  I  observed  a  number  of 
Long-eared  Bats  frequenting  a  group  of  three  tall  silver-fir  trees  standing 
close  together  among  stunted  oak  and  hazel  bushes.  On  warm  nights  these 
trees  appeared  full  of  bats,  sometimes  flying  with  the  greatest  rapidity 
through  the  branches  and  sometimes  hovering  like  great  moths  at  the 
extremities  of  the  twigs.  On  going  underneath  the  trees  the  bats  presented 
a  still  more  curious  sight :  generally  upwards  of  a  score  might  be  seen 
moving  about  in  the  space  of  a  few  feet.  They  appeared  frequently  to 
come  in  contact  with  the  branches,  but  whether  by  accident  or  not  I  was 
unable  to  ascertain.  [They  were  doubtless  taking  insects  oS"  the  leaves. — 
Ed.]  One  which  I  shot  at  this  place  had  a  small  leaf  of  the  silver-fir  in 
its  mouth.  The  food  of  the  Long-eared  Bat  consists  chiefly  of  moths,  and 
I  believe  small  caterpillars  are  also  taken  by  it. 

(0).  Rhinolophiis  Idpposideros. —  The  Lesser  Horse-shoe  Bat,  though 
generally  distributed,  is  by  no  means  a  common  species.  It  is  apparently 
strictly  nocturnal  in  its  habits,  never  coming  abroad  till  it  is  quite  dark, 
and  I  can  only  recall  one  or  two  instances  in  which  I  have  seen  it  on  the 
wing.  During  the  day  it  may  be  seen  hanging  from  the  roofs  of  caves  and 
houses,  always  in  the  darkest  part.  I  once  saw  several  bats  of  this  species 
in  the  lower  level  of  an  old  lead-mine,  to  gain  access  to- which  they  must 
have  descended  a  shaft  fifty  feet  deep  into  an  upper  level,  and  after 
traversing  this,  have  passed  through  a  small  hole  in  the  floor  to  the  place 
where  I  found  them.  On  the  few  occasions  on  which  I  have  seen  this  bat 
abroad  it  was  flying  slowly  close  to  the  ground,  somewhat  in  the  manner 
of  F.  iiiystacinus.  —  G.  H.  Caton  Haigh  (Aber-ia,  Penrhyndendraeth, 

Cliff-birds  at  Dover. — During  the  first  week  of  July  the  fine  chalk 
cliffs  between  Dover,  the  South  Foreland,  and  St.  Margaret's  Bay,  present 
a  very  animated  appearance.    Hundreds  of  Herring  Gulls  are  nesting  there, 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  295 

and  the  youug  ones  may  be   seen   about  their  nests,   attended  by   the 
parent  birds.     For  some  reason  or  other — probably  for  the  want  of  suitable 
ledges — the  Herring  Gulls  do  not  appear  to  nest  on  the  abrupt  faces  of 
the  cliffs,  but  in  spots  where  land-slips  have  occurred,  and  where  slopes 
more  or  less  covered  with  verdure,  but  at  a  very  steep  incline,  have  formed 
amid  the  cliffs.    In  selecting  such  breeding-places  the  Herring  Gulls  have, 
as  might  be  expected,  selected  the  more  inaccessible  slopes,  and  as  far  as 
I  could  judge,  walking  below  the  cliffs,   I   did  not  notice  any  occupied 
nesting-places  that  an  ordinary  rock-climber  should  attempt  without  the 
aid  of  a  rope  from  above.     Great  mortahty  occurs  amongst  the  young  gulls 
from  the  nests  being  placed  on  these  steep  inclines,  for  the  young  tempted 
from  their  nests  lose  their  foothold  on  the  slippery  grass,  and  slide  and  fall 
on  the  beach  below,  where  they  are  abandoned  by  the  parent  birds.    In  the 
first  week  of  July,  this  year,  my  companion  and  1  counted  over  fifty  dead 
young  ones  in  the  course  of  our  walk  along  the  base  of  the  cliffs,  and  we 
saw  two  young  Herring  Gulls  lose  their  foothold  and  come  down,  trying  to 
save  themselves  with  expanded  feet  and   their  little  apologies  for  wings 
extended ;  they  reached  the  beach  in  safety,  where  we  secured  them,  took 
them   home,   and   they   are  now   flourishing  in   my  companion's  garden. 
There  is,  however,  one  exception  to  the  general  rule  of  these  gulls  breeding 
on  the  cliff-slopes,  and  that  is  a  few  pairs  making  their  nests  on  the  gravel 
beach  at  the  very  base  of  the  cliffs  just  above  the  line  of  ordinary  high 
water.    The  spots  available  are  very  few  and  restricted  in  area,  and  as  they 
can  be  reached  at  low-tide  these  nests  are  invariably  plundered  of  the  eggs. 
My  companion  informed  me  that  during  the  past  seven  years  he  had  on 
several  occasions  taken  eggs  from  these  nests  on  the  shore.     He  is  inclined 
to  think  that  the  very  great  increase  in  the  number  of  the  Herring  Gulls 
since  the  Wild  Birds  Preservation  Act  came   into   force   has  led   to   the 
crowding  of  the  securer  breeding  stations,  and  that  the  gulls  that  nest  on 
the  beach  are  the  younger  ones  which  have  been  unable  to  find  nesting 
room  in  the  safer  positions.     It  was  satisfactory  to  learn,  from  my  com- 
panion's personal  observation,   that  the   number   of   Herring  Gulls   had 
largely  increased  during  the  past  ten  years.     I  should  estimate  roughly 
that  not  less  than  four  hundred  pairs  of  Herring  Gulls  nest  in  the  cliffs 
between  Dover  and  St.  Margaret's  Bay.     To  ornithologists  who  reside  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  London,  and  who  may  not  have  the  opportunity  of 
visiting  the  more  distant  great  rock  nurseries  of  sea-fowl  along  our  coasts, 
I  recommend  a  visit  to  these  chffs,  but  care  must  be  taken  to  time  it  with 
due  consideration  of  the  tides,  for  a  mistake  might  lead  to  an  awkward 
predicament,  as  at  high-water  the  sea  rises  to  the  cliff,  except  in  a  few  spots 
where  some  of  the  gulls,  as  I  have  already  mentioned,  make  their  nests  on 
the  gravel,     A  visitor  to  the  cliff  immediately  below  the  South  Foreland 
Lighthouses  will  be  further  gratified  by  finding  that  a  considerable  colony  of 


Guillemots  make  it  their  breeding-station.  It  is  a  very  bold  perpendicular 
headland,  and  I  should  consider  to  be  only  accessible  to  experienced 
cragsmen  with  proper  appliances.  To  stand  below  this  cliff  and  watch  the 
Guillemots  shoot  down  from  their  lofty  ledges  to  the  sea  is  a  very  pretty 
sight.  My  eye  could  not  discern  any  movement  in  their  wings ;  the  feet 
stretched  out  behind  seemed  to  be  the  guiding  power.  I  picked  up  one 
little  downy  black  young  one  at  the  base  of  the  cliff,  which  shows  that  the 
Guillemots  breed  there.  A  pair  of  Peregrine  Falcons  nest  in  the  cliffs 
between  Dover  Castle  and  the  South  Foreland,  and  have,  I  believe,  reared 
their  young  in  safety  this  season.  It  has  been  a  frequent  source  of  pleasure 
to  me  during  the  past  spring  to  visit  these  falcons'  breeding-place,  as 
I  invariably  saw  one,  sometimes  both  birds.  The  tiercel  was  wont  to 
resent  my  intrusion,  by  flying  overhead  and  screaming  querulously  ;  at  times 
he  would  "wait  on"  within  forty  or  fifty  yards  of  me.  These  birds  have 
shown  me  some  good  flights  at  pigeons  this  year.  I  was  at  first  somewhat 
puzzled  where  these  pigeons  came  from,  because  all  I  saw  flown  at  were 
evidently  home  bred  birds,  and  the  falcons  always  intercepted  them  as  they 
were  flying  over  the  Channel.  Placed  on  the  edge  of  the  cliff,  I  have 
watched  a  pigeon  flying  with  steady  rapid  flight  over  the  Downs,  heading 
southward  across  the  sea.  As  the  pigeon  passes  over  the  cliffs  the  falcon 
dashes  out  seaward  from  under  the  cliff,  the  pigeon  sees  its  enemy  and 
rises  high  in  air,  the  falcon  mounts  as  well ;  to  the  inexperienced  eye  the 
hawk  appears  to  be  flying  in  an  opposite  direction  to  the  pigeon,  but  when 
he  has  gained  the  proper  altitude  down  he  swoops  like  a  bolt  from  the  sky, 
but  the  pigeon  eludes  him  by  dropping  with  incredible  rapidity  to  the  sea. 
Again  the  falcon  rises,  its  evident  intention  being  to  drive  the  pigeon  to  the 
shelter  of  the  Kentish  cliffs;  the  pigeon,  seeing  its  course  across  Channel 
barred  l)y  its  mortal  foe,  seeks  the  shelter  of  the  undercliff.  The  falcon 
now  has  it  all  its  own  way,  and  the  wings  and  skeletons  of  pigeons  which 
I  have  found  at  the  base  of  the  cliffs  show  what  heavy  toll  the  Peregrines 
levy  on  the  Belgian  and  French  homing-pigeons  returning  to  the  Continent ; 
for  in  several  instances  I  found  the  name  of  the  owner  stamped  upon  the 
inside  of  the  primary  wing-feathers  of  the  pigeons,  which  proved  to  be 
trained  birds  belonging  to  Belgian  owners. — H.  W.  Feilden  (Dover). 

Ornithological  Notes  from  Mayo  and  Sligo. —  Owing  to  the  low 
temperature  of  the  spring  months,  our  summer  birds  were  late  and  very 
irregular  in  the  dates  of  their  appearance  in  this  locality,  for  with  the  excep- 
tion of  the  Sandwich  Tern  and  Whimbrel,  none  were  up  to  their  usual 
time  of  arrival.  The  Sandwich  Terns  were  seen  on  March  28th,  but  I  did 
not  see  or  hear  a  Common  Tern  until  May  15th.  Of  our  land-birds  the 
Chiffchaff,  as  usual,  was  the  first  to  make  itself  known — on  April  22nd. 
This  bird,  from  the  peculiarity  of  its  song,  attracted  my  attention  at  once, 
for  at  first  I  thought  that  a  Willow  Wren  and  Chiffchaff  were  sinking  in 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  297 

defiance  of  each  other, — as  many  small  birds  do  at  times, — and  I  could  not 
be  certain  that  these  birds  were  not  present  until  I  caught  siglit  of  the 
CbifFchaff  iu  a  thorn-hedge,  and  had  closely  watched  it  for  some  time.  It 
began  its  song  with  the  first  two  soft  notes  of  the  Willow  Wren  and  ended 
with  the  last  two  notes  of  the  Chiffchaff — a  combination  of  song  that 
puzzled  me,  for  although  I  had  been  acquainted  with  both  the  notes  of  the 
Chiffchaff  and  Willow  Wren  since  I  was  quite  a  boy,  yet  I  never  heard 
anything  similar  to  it  before,  for  the  notes  of  both  birds  are  so  unlike  and 
are  so  well  marked  that  no  one  can  mistake  one  for  tlie  other.  I  w-as  so 
struck  with  its  strange  song  that  I  intended  to  shoot  and  examine  the  bird, 
but  on  the  following  day,  when  I  went  to  look  for  it,  it  had  disappeared 
from  the  plantations,  and  it  was  a  fortnight  after  before  I  heard  another 
individual  singing  in  the  usual  manner.  I  should  be  glad  to  hear  if  any  of 
your  readers  ever  heard  a  ChifFchaff  sing  as  the  one  above  mentioned.  On 
April  23rd  I  heard  the  first  Willow  Wren,  but  the  cold  weather  stopped 
its  song  for  several  days,  until  the  29th,  upon  which  day  I  heard  some 
Whimbrels.  The  Cuckoo  was  not  heard  until  May  2nd,  and  Swallows 
appeared  on  the  same  day.  The  Corn  Crake  was  not  heard  in  this  neigh- 
bourhood until  May  12th,  nor  Whitethroats  until  the  15th,  and  the  first 
Spotted  Flycatcher  on  the  22nd  ;  the  poor  bird  appeared  very  uncomfortable 
and  cold-looking,  owing  to  the  stormy  weather  and  heavy  hail-storms  of  the 
previous  four  days,  when  the  thermometer  fell  to  39°  on  the  nights  of  the 
19th  and  20th.  However,  as  if  to  make  up  for  the  low  temperature  of 
April  and  first  half  of  May,  the  weather  has  now  become  very  warm,  the 
thermometer  all  through  June  never  having  been  below  70°,  by  day, 
and  on  the  15th,  16th,  and  17th  it  has  been  up  to  74°,  79°,  and  81°.  On 
the  17th  I  was  at  Bartragh,  and  saw  about  a  dozen  Godwits,  but  all  were 
in  the  pale  plumage  of  winter,  none  exhibiting  any  red  feathers.  I  saw 
some  young  Ring  Plovers  nearly  able  to  fly,  running  about  near  their 
nesting-places,  and  as  I  was  walking  along  the  sands  by  the  open  bay  at 
the  north  side  of  the  island  I  was  surprised  at  seeing  a  large  flock  of  Red- 
breasted  Mergansers,  at  least  a  hundred  birds,  closely  packed  together, 
swimming  just  outside  the  surf.  There  were  very  few  birds  with  dark 
heads  in  the  flock,  the  majority  appearing  to  be  females  or  immature  males. 
It  was  a  most  unusual  sight  to  me,  for  I  never  before  observed  Mergansers 
at  this  season  flock  on  the  sea;  indeed  the  most  I  have  ever  come  across 
would  be  perhaps  half  a  dozen  individuals  fishing  on  the  inside  channels. 
It  is  probable  that  the  Shoveller  Duck  nests  regularly  every  season  on  Lough 
Conn,  for  a  few  years  ago  I  saw  an  old  male  flying  about  a  reedy  bay  on 
the  lake  near  the  old  abbey  of  Errew,  and  from  its  not  wishing  to  leave  the 
place  when  disturked,  but  continuing  to  fly  round,  I  am  sure  it  had  its 
mate  hatching  close  by;  and  this  season,  near  the  same  part  of  the  lake, 
a  pair  were  seen  and  the  male  shot  some  time  last  April.  Many  Wild 
ZOOLOGIST. — AUGUST,  1887.  2  A 


Ducks,  as  well  as  Red-breasted  Mergansers,  breed  on  the  islands  in  the 
lake,  and  there  are  several  colonies  of  Black-headed  Gulls  and  Common 
Terns  also.  Redshanks  regularly  frequent  the  lake  to  nest  on  the  islands, 
and  I  have  seen  their  eggs  brought  from  an  island  near  Cloghans. — 
Robert  Warren  (Moyview,  Ballina). 

Ornithological  Notes  from  Breconshire.— Your  readers  will  be  pleased 
to  hear  that  the  Kite  [Mllvus  regalis)  is  slowly  increasing  in  this  county. 
I  not  unfrequently  see  one  soaring  steadily  along  in  places  where  years  ago 
such  a  sight  would  have  been  a  wonder.  One  of  my  boys,  a  good  observer, 
tells  me  that  in  October  last  he  saw  five  in  one  spot  soaring  in  circles 
higher  and  higher,  until  they  flew  in  a  straight  line  towards  the  Beacons. 
They  were  probably  two  old  birds  and  three  young  ones.  A  pair  now 
frequent  Vennyvach  "Wood,  the  first  time  for  certainly  a  number  of  years. 
This  increase  may  be  accounted  for  in  two  ways,  viz.,  the  almost  total 
absence  of  trapping  on  the  moors  and  in  the  wilder  and  more  secluded  parts 
of  the  county,  and  express  protection  of  them  by  one  of  our  largest  hill- 
owners.  Woodcocks  were  fairly  plentiful  last  winter,  e;5pecially  (as  is 
always  the  case  here)  in  November  and  February.  Wildfowl  of  all  kinds 
were  scarce.  Two  Scaup  Ducks,  Fuligula  marila,  were  seen  on  the  Gludy 
Lake,  but  I  heard  of  nothing  else  worth  mentioning.  Last  autumn  my  boy 
saw  a  male  Sparrowhawk  attack  a  Jay  ;  they  were  rolling  over  and  over  on 
the  ground  ;  he  picked  the  Jay  up,  but  it  had  very  little  life  left ;  the  hawk 
flew  off  and  pitched  in  a  small  oak  tree  close  by,  and  then  flew  back  to 
within  a  few  yards  of  the  dead  Jay,  evidently  leaving  it  with  great 
reluctance ;  the  Jay  had  made  a  good  fight  for  his  life,  as  appeared  by  the 
numerous  feathers  scattered  about.  The  Great  Spotted  Woodpecker  is 
certainly  increasing,  while  the  Lesser  Spotted  Woodpecker  is  decreasing  in 
about  the  same  proportion  ;  this  is  singular  and  at  present  inexplicable,  but 
the  fact  remains.  I  also  see  the  Stock  Dove,  Columba  mnas,  more  frequently 
than  I  did  formerly.  The  Curlew,  Numenius  arquatus,  appeared  as  usual 
about  the  middle  of  March  ;  on  the  23rd  I  saw  a  pair  near  Llangorse  Lake, 
and  two  had  been  seen  near  here  a  week  earlier  ;  it  keeps  its  time  of  coming 
with  wonderful  regularity,  but  now  breeds  in  marshy  places  on  the  lowlands 
as  well  as  on  the  hill,  one  of  the  good  results  of  the  enforcement  of  the 
Wild  Birds  Protection  Act.  A  friend  living  on  the  borders  of  the  county 
writes  me  on  March  98th  that  "The  Raven  is  sitting  in  Craiglas,  and,  I 
should  say,  nearly  hatching.  The  Dipper,  Cinclus  aquaticus,  is  also 
nesting."  The  last-named  bird  builds  very  early  about  here;  one,  with 
five  eggs,  sat  on  about  a  week,  being  found  on  the  first  Sunday  in  March, 
in  the  middle  of  that  heavy  snow-storm.  Unfortunately  the  Barn  Owl  is 
getting  very  scarce;  I  never  see  one  now,  although  my  friend  above  quoted 
writes  me  on  the  same  date,  "I  am  glad  to  tell  you  that  the  White  or  Barn 
Owl  is  again  to  be  seen  about;  they  are  very  harmless,  and  it  is  a  great 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  299 

pity  people  are  so  ignorant  about  them  ";  in  which  expression  of  opinion  I 
quite  agree. — E.  Cambridge  Phillips  (The  Elms,  Brecon,  S.  Wales). 

Unusual  Nesting-site  for  the  Wryneck. — In  the  last  number  of '  The 
Zoologist '  (p.  265)  I  recorded  the  fact  of  a  Tree  Sparrow  nesting  in  a  mole- 
burrow  in  a  brick-earth  cutting  in  Kent.  On  July  9th  I  was  examining  the 
holes  in  the  same  cutting  on  the  chance  of  finding  a  late  nest,  when  I  heard 
a  sound,  not  unlike  that  made  by  shaking  a  handful  of  silver  coins,  issuing 
from  one  of  the  holes  ;  after  half  an  hour's  hard  work  I  was  able  to  insert 
my  hand,  when  I  discovered  that  the  hole  was  occupied  by  five  full-fledged 
young  Wrynecks.  There  appeared  to  be  no  nest,  or,  if  there  was,  it  was  so 
completely  concealed  under  a  mass  of  malodorous  guano  that  I  did  not  dis- 
cover it.  T  have  never  met  with  any  recorded  instance  of  the  Wryneck 
breeding  in  a  hole  in  the  ground,  and  it  may  therefore  be  of  interest  to 
publish  the  fact. — A.  G.  Butler  (Natural  History  Museum). 

Hawfinch  in  Yorkshire. — This  interesting  bird  is  yearly  becoming 
more  common  in  this  neighbourhood.  There  are  at  least  half  a  dozen 
places  where  it  nests,  and  at  least  three  regularly.  Mr.  Storey,  of  Pateley 
Bridge,  obtained  a  nest  in  Nidderdale  last  year,  the  first  record  of  its  nesting 
in  the  Dale ;  the  birds  have  again  nested  this  year.  During  the  winter 
months  an  unusual  number  frequented  the  gardens  in  the  town  and  on  the 
outskirts.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  they  had  all  been  bred  in  the 
neighbourhood.  On  one  estate  great  care  is  taken  to  protect  them.  The 
head  gardener,  a  very  intelligent  man,  instead  of  shooting  them,  as  his  pre- 
decessors had  done,  protects  them  carefully,  but  places  nets  over  his  fruit, 
and  thus  prevents  any  complaints  being  made  as  to  the  damage  done  by  the 
birds  to  the  fruit. — Riley  Fortune  (Harrogate). 

The  Song  of  the  Chaffinch.— In  a  recent  number  of  '  The  Ibis'  (1887, 
p.  194),  Mr.  W.  C.  Tait  remarks  that  in  Portugal  the  Chaffinch  begins  to 
sing  (as  with  us  in  England)  in  February  ;  he  adds  that  there  it  recom- 
mences to  sing  in  September,  and  that  he  "  has  heard  it  as  late  as 
November  27th."  I  may  be  mistaken,  but  to  my  recollection  the  Chaffinch 
rarely  sings  during  the  autumn  months  in  Great  Britain.  At  any  rate 
I  have  only  a  single  record  of  the  fact  among  my  field  notes,  i.e.,  on  the 
loth  of  September,  J 882,  I  heard  a  Chaffinch  singing  lustily  in  a  garden 
near  Carlisle.  1  should  be  glad  to  learn  from  other  readers  of  '  The 
Zoologist'  whether  our  home  Chaffinches  are  autumn  songsters.  If  such 
is  the  case,  it  is  curious  that  the  fact  should  be  unnoticed  in  our  text-books. 
— H.  A.  Macpherson. 

Black  Tern  near  Gloucester. — On  May  21st  a  specimen  of  the  Black 
Tern,  Sterna  nigra,  was  shot  at  the  "Lower  Parting,"  on  the  Severn,  just 
below  Gloucester,  and  has  been  set  up  by  a  local  taxidermist,  in  whose 
hands  I  saw  it.     It  is  an  adult  female  bird,  in  perfect  breeding  plumage. 


The  only  other  recorded  occurrence  of  the  species  in  this  county  I  know 
of  is  one  reported  from  Avonmouth  by  Mr.  Wheeler  in  the  '  Proceedings 
of  the  Bristol  Naturalists'  Society'  (vol.  i.,  part  3).  —  H.  W.  Marsden 
(37,  Midland  Road,  Gloucester.). 

Mimicry  of  the  Corn  Bunting.  —  When  birdsnesting  on  the  Upper 
Rhine,  near  Mulheini,  I  found  the  Corn  Bunting  abundantly  established 
on  the  lower  grounds.  During  great  heat  the  males  sang  incessantly  (their 
mates  were  sitting),  perching  indifferently  on  the  ground,  on  low  bushes 
and  rails,  on  the  tops  of  walnut  trees,  and  on  the  telegraph-wires.  Their 
song  seemed  to  be  identical  with  the  dialect  of  those  I  had  met  with  at 
hotne,  with  a  single  exception.  On  June  19th  a  Corn  Bunting  perching  on 
a  telegraph-wire  poured  forth  a  liquid  and  sweet  song,  embodying  the  notes 
of  the  Crested  Lark,  which  latter  species  is  resident,  though  scarce,  in  that 
district.  That  the  Reed  Bunting  has  a  good  ear  and  can  be  trained  to  sing 
the  Sky  Lark's  song  I  have  recorded  elsewhere,  but  I  never  suspected  the 
Corn  Bunting  of  a  similar  capacity. — H.  A.  Macpherson. 

Spring  Moult  of  the  Wheatear.— It  appears  that  Wheatears  occa- 
sionally, if  not  always,  moult  their  tail-quills  after  their  arrival  in  this 
country  on  the  spring  migration.  Many  examples  procured  at  that  season 
are  found  to  have  the  distal  portion  of  these  feathers  of  a  brownish  black, 
more  or  less  worn  at  the  extremity,  the  broad  buff  edges  or  tips  carried  on 
their  departure  after  the  autumn  moult  having  either  entirely  or  almost 
worn  off;  some  again  have  broad,  almost  white,  tips  to  the  feathers,  these 
being  at  the  same  time  black  and  glossy  ;  others  have  mixed  tails,  consisting 
of  feathers  in  both  conditions.  A  male  in  my  possession,  shot  in  Sussex  on 
the  7th  April,  has  the  quills  of  the  wings  and  tails  very  brown  those  of  the 
latter  being  dark  to  the  extremity,  the  buff  feather  edgings  having  worn  off. 
Another,  procured  on  March  18th,  has  blacker  feathers  (probably  to  be 
accounted  for  in  this  case  by  a  difference  of  age),  but  still  untipped.  Of 
some  three  examples  from  North  Wales,  shot  on  April  29tli,  one  is  a 
female  having  three  new  tipped  feathers ;  the  others  are  males,  one  having 
an  entirely  old  untipped  tail,  the  other  one  new  tipped  feather,  and  all  the 
rest  old.  A  Sussex  male,  7th  April,  has  the  first  four  on  the  right  side 
tipped  light,  and  another  from  the  same  locality,  I9th  March,  which  still 
retains  much  of  tlie  brown  edgings  to  the  dorsal  plumage,  has  all  the  tail- 
feathers  tipped,  with  the  exception  of  the  third  and  fourth  on  the  right  side. 
A  third  male,  5th  May,  has  the  four  outside  feathers  on  the  right  side  dark 
to  the  extremities,  the  colour  being  rather  brown  and  the  feathers  old  and 
worn  in  appearance;  the  rest  shorter  than  these,  blacker  in  tint,  new  and 
glossy  in  appearance,  and  all  tipped  with  white.  This  last  bird  was  clearly 
moulting  its  tail,  and  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  all  the  examples  showing 
mixed  tails  were  similarly  engaged  at  the  time  they  were  procured.     The 

NOTES    AND    QUKRIES.  301 

old  and  worn  appearance  of  the  untipped  feathers,  and  the  glossy  new-looking 
condition  and  blacker  tints  of  those  beaming  Hght  tips,  is  common  to  all  the 
examples  I  have  examined.— Olivkr  V.  Aplin  (Bloxham,  near  Banbury). 
Notes  from  Oxfordshire.  —  On  the  3rd  of  December  last  a  friend  of 
mine  shot  a  Snipe,  which  fell  into  the  river  and  which  began  swimming 
towards  the  shore.     Almost  simultaneously  with  the  shot  my  friend  heard 
a  noise  behind  him,  and  looking  round  observed  a  Heron  rising  from  a  very 
small  pond  which  stands  between  this  house  and  the  River  Isis.     After  the 
bird  had  ascended  some  sixty  or  eighty  feet,  he  was  seen  to  drop  something 
from  his  beak  to  the  ground.     My  friend  went  up  to  the  spot,  and  found  a 
Pike  of  over  a  pound  in  weight,  alive,  and  apparently  none  the  worse  for 
the  treatment  it  had  received  from  the  Heron.     After  the  fish  had  been 
picked  up,  the  Heron  returned  to  the  spot,  evidently  much  disconcerted  by 
the  disappearance  of  its  prey ;  as  for  the  fish,  it  was  brought  home,  and 
weighed,  and  eaten  ;  it  tasted  somewhat  muddy,  but  the  flesh  was  firm  and 
good.     On  several  occasions  a  Fox  has  been  observed  located  in  a  tree,  a 
willow,  close  to  the  river ;  when  the  South  Oxon  Hounds  came  here  some 
short  time  since,  Reynard  was  knocked  out  of  his  retreat,  and  after  a  run 
across  country  he  returned  to  his  stronghold,  which  he  still  continues  to 
occupy.    Not  very  far  from  the  same  spot,  and  in  a  thorn  bush  fourteen  feet 
from  the  ground,  a  Moorhen  has  made  her  nest,  where  she  is  diligently 
sitting ;  it  is  to  be  hoped  she  will  bring  off  her  brood.     Birds  and  beasts  of 
all  sorts  have  but  a  poor  chance  of  escape  along  the  banks  of  this  river,  in 
spite  of  any  assistance   my   keepers  may   be   able  to   afford   them  here. 
There  are  other  enemies,  however,  besides  dogs  and  bipeds,  which  make 
the  multiplication  of  birds  somewhat  precarious.     I  saw  an  example  of  this 
on  May  26th  last.     Close  in  front  of  the  house,  where  every  sort  of  bird 
comes  to  claim  protection,  a  Thrush  had  just  hatched  out  her  young;  she 
had  a  neighbour,  a  Jackdaw,  who  was  engaged  in  the  same  pursuit  in  an 
elm  tree  hard  by.     The  Jackdaw  had  doubtless  been  anticipating  the  ad- 
vantage of  having  such  succulent  young  neighbours,  and  I  happened  to  be 
looking  out  of  the  window  when  he  made  his  assault.     He  lit  on  the  grass 
plot  and  stalked  in  a  dignified  manner  to  the  Juniperus  thurifera,  where 
the  Thrushes  were ;  he  flew  up  to  the  nest,  and  brought  down  one  of  the 
little  delicacies  in  his  claws.     The  terror  and  despair  of  the  poor  parents 
was  pitiable.     They  perched  on  an  iron  railing  over  and  above  where  the 
operation  was  going  on,  and  watched  the  dismemberment  and  the  deglutition 
of  their  offspring  in  helpless  "agony.     Ever  and  anon  they  both  flew  at  the 
monster;  the  Jackdaw  only  deigned  to  turn  his  head  and  give  a  warning 
look,  when  the  affrighted  parents  retired.     One  after  another  the  brood  was 
disposed  of,  and  then  the  marauder  disappeared.     The  poor  Thrushes  flew 
down  to  the  ground  when  he  was  gone,  but  nothing  was  left.    It  is  possible 
that  the  nest  of  a  Sedge  Warbler  was  robbed  by  a  similar  bird  ;  one  day 


the  nest  contained  three  eggs  of  the  Sedge  Warbler  and  one  egg  of  a 
Cuckoo;  on  the  following  day  a  portion  of  the  shells  of  the  eggs  was  alone 
remaining.  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  two  Cuckoo's  eggs  were  found  in 
the  nest  of  a  Hedgesparrow,  together  with  four  of  the  Hedgesparrow's  own 
eggs.  A  curious  fate  attended  a  Kingfisher  which  had  built  a  nest  in  the 
bank  of  a  small  pond  in  the  Park.  The  pond  stands  close  to  the  head 
keeper's  house  ;  there  are  usually  Ducks  upon  it,  and  the  Deer  and  Scotch 
cattle  are  in  the  habit  of  going  there  to  drink.  The  nest  was  known  to  be 
there,  and  the  bird  had  been  frequently  seen  going  to  the  nest.  One 
morning  a  person  visiting  the  place  found  the  bird  with  nest  and  eggs 
crushed  as  flat  as  a  pancake,  and  a  mark  of  the  expanded  foot  of  a  bullock 
was  very  evidently  imprinted  on  the  surrounding  mud.  That  Skye  cattle 
are  not  entirely  innocuous  to  birds  is  further  proved  by  the  fate  of  a  Swan 
which  died  here  in  May  last.  These  cattle,  when  they  have  calves,  are  apt  to 
become  very  fierce.  In  this  case  a  heifer  had  become  troublesome,  and  had 
frightened  several  persons  in  the  park.  It  was  being  driven  near  a  small 
lake,  and,  finding  a  Swan  on  the  bank,  it  deliberately  tossed  it  up  into  the 
air.  The  Swan  lived  for  several  weeks,  but  at  last  died  from  the  effects 
of  the  treatment. — G.  W.  Harcourt  (Nuneham  Park,  Oxou). 

Grouse  Disease. — With  reference  to  my  remarks  on  this  subject  in  the 
last  number  of  '  The  Zoologist '  (p.  965),  I  have  received  the  following 
interesting  communication  from  Lord  Walsingham: — "June  9th,  1887. 
I  read  with  much  interest  the  extract  from  '  The  Zoologist '  which  you 
were  good  enough  to  send  me.  Among  the  Grouse  which  you  examined,  I 
should  be  inclined  to  think  (c)  was  the  only  one  that  had  the  real  Grouse- 
disease — namely,  that  in  which  Cobbold's  threadworm,  Strongijlus  per- 
c/racilis,  was  found  in  the  cseca.  It  has  certainly  occurred  in  some  places 
in  the  South  of  Scotland  and  in  the  North  of  England.  The  Duke  of 
Roxburgh  told  me  that,  had  he  been  asked  to  do  so  earlier,  he  could  have 
sent  up  any  number  of  birds  from  Berwickshire,  where  the  disease  has  been 
very  destructive.  It  has  now  ceased  in  places  where  it  was  most  severe,  but 
it  must  have  been  very  partially  distributed.  My  moors  in  Yorkshire  have 
been  quite  free  from  the  true  epidemic,  although  a  few  birds  died  from  some 
cause  or  otlier  after  last  shooting  season  :  perhaps  a  stray  shot  may  have 
accounted  for  one  or  two.  As  I  am  on  this  subject,  I  send  you  two  memo- 
randa made  after  a  conversation  with  Lord  Ormathwaite  a  few  days  ago,  one 
of  which  bears  upon  the  question  of  featherless  legs.  He  tells  me  that  in 
August,  1872, — the  great  Grouse  year, — when  shooting  at  High  Force, 
he  well  remembers  Raiue,  the  head  keeper,  after  a  day  in  which  nearly 
1000  brace  were  killed,  holding  up  a  fat  plump  bird,  one  of  two  killed 
that  day,  ivith  no  feathers  on  the  legs,  and  saying,  '  I  shall  not  see 
any  of  you  gentlemen  here  for  three  years  to  come.'  This  prophecy 
of  tlic  sweeping  effects  of  the  disease  which  be  had  detected  was  fullilled 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  303 

to  the  letter.  Lord  Ormathwaite  also  tells  me  that  he  once  asked 
his  old  stalker,  Donald  Fraser,  at  Fannick,  Ross-shire,  how  long  ago 
he  had  first  known  the  Grouse  to  die  of  disease  in  any  large  numbers. 
His  answer  was  that  '  he  well  remembered  when  he  first  knew  it.  He 
was  herding  cows  in  the  Reay  country,  and  saw  packs  (probably  meaning 
large  numbers)  of  Grouse  all  lying  dead ;  and  when  he  came  home  and 
told  the  people  what  he  had  seen,  the  same  day  the  news  of  the  battle 
of  Waterloo  arrived.'  So  here  is  pretty  good  evidence  that  the  disease,  or 
at  least  some  very  destructive  epidemic,  is  no  new  thing.  Moreover,  this 
fixes  the  time  of  year  as  the  same  in  which  the  present  modified  outbreak 
commenced." — F.  Jeffrey  Bell.  [See  Dr.  Klein's  Report  on  the  Grouse 
Disease,  in  '  The  Field '  of  July  23rd  ult.— Ed.] 

Hybrid  Greenfinch  and  Linnet. — The  interesting  notes  on  hybrid 
Greenfinches  furnished  to  '  The  Zoologist,'  by  my  friend  Mr.  J.  H.  Gurney, 
jun.,  tempt  me  to  record  the  fact  that  such  a  hybrid  was  interviewed  by 
myself  and  two  ornithological  friends,  while  nesting  on  a  moor  near 
Aberdeen  on  June  29th.  The  bird  in  question  was  feeding,  when  first 
observed,  upon  a  patch  of  growing  turnips,  of  which  some  trusses  bore 
yellow  flowers,  while  others  had  run  to  seed.  This  hybrid  was  feeding  so 
greedily  upon  the  green  seeds  that  we  approached  witliin  a  couple  of  yards 
before  he  took  wing.  He  was  solitary,  and  had  probably  been  hatched 
the  previous  year.  We  revisited  the  spot  the  following  day,  but  he  had 
departed. — H.  A.  Macphekson. 

Redstart  laying  spotted  Eggs.— Never  having  seen,  or  heard  of, 
a  spotted  egg  of  the  Redstart,  I  was  very  much  surprised  last  summer  at 
taking  a  distinctly  spotted  variety  of  the  egg  of  this  bird.  The  hen 
Redstart  was  seen  leaving  the  nest,  which  was  built  in  a  stone  wall.  This 
summer  I  have  again  taken  a  spotted  egg  ;  both  cock  and  hen  Redstart  seen 
continually.  In  both  cases  the  greater  number  of  the  eggs  in  the  set  were 
quite  spotless.  The  markings  are  sparsely  distributed  over  the  broad  end, 
as  in  eggs  of  the  Wren.  The  two  localities  in  which  the  nests  were  found 
are  over  four  miles  distant  from  one  another,  so  I  do  not  think  it  likely 
that  the  eggs  were  laid  by  the  same  bird. — E.  W.  H.  Blagg  (Cheadle, 

[Eggs  of  the  Redstart  "  with  a  few  faint  reddish  specks "  are  noticed 
in  the  fourth  edition  of  Yarrell's  '  British  Birds,'  vol.  i.  p.  331.— Ed.] 

Hawfinch  nesting  in  Kent.— Several  young  Hawfinches  were  seen 
flying  about  in  the  Cemetery  here  in  June.  One  of  the  old  birds  was  with 
them. — Henry  Lamb  (Maidstone). 

Girl  Bunting  breeding  near  Godalming.— It  will  perhaps  interest 
your  readers  to  know  of  the  breeding  of  the  Girl  Bunting  in  this  locality. 
About  the  middle  of  May  a  nest  was  shown  me  by  the  caretaker  of  the 


Godalming  Cemetery,  which  adjoins  this  house ;  it  was  built  in  a  small 
yew  tree  close  to  one  of  the  paths,  and  was  composed  of  bents,  mixed  with 
a  little  moss,  and  was  lined  with  finer  bents  and  some  hair ;  it  contained 
four  eggs  of  a  dull  white,  tinged  with  grey,  and  streaked  and  blotched  with 
liver-brown.  Tlie  nest  was  interfered  with,  one  of  the  eggs  was  taken,  and 
the  old  birds  forsook  it.  Having  become  aware  of  this  I  removed  the  nest, 
but  I  was  able  to  save  only  one  of  the  eggs,  which  had  been  sat  upon  for 
some  days,  and  that  one  is  in  but  a  shattered  condition.  Since  then  the 
same  pair  of  birds  have  built  a  second  nest,  about  a  hundred  yards  distant 
from  the  first,  among  some  twigs  growing  out  of  the  trunk  of  an  elm  tree, 
and  a  foot  and  a  half  from  the  ground.  When  I  first  saw  it  (on  June  18th) 
it  had  four  eggs  which  were  almost  ready  to  hatch ;  last  week  there  were 
four  young  ones  in  the  nest,  but  yesterday  morning  (June  27th)  I  found 
that  two  of  the  four— the  cause  I  know  not — were  dead.  I  may  add  ihat 
botli  ray  son  and  I  have  spent  some  time  in  watching  the  old  birds.  Each 
takes  a  share  in  feeding  the  young;  when  alarmed  each  utters  a  single 
note  which  is  repeated  several  times ;  also,  when  disturbed,  the  female 
flutters  along  the  ground  as  if  hurt.  The  birds  are  not  at  all  shy,  but 
continue  to  carry  food — which  appears  to  consist  of  caterpillars — to  their 
young  whilst  we  are  standing  a  few  yards  off.  I  observe  that  in  the  second 
edition  of  Yarrell's  '  British  Birds,'  it  is  stated  that  the  Girl  Bunting  has 
been  found  in  Surrey,  near  Godalming ;  and  in  the  last  edition  of  the  same 
work  it  is  said  to  breed  in  Surrey ;  but  I  have  not  noticed  any  specified 
instance  of  its  doing  so,  and  that  is  why  I  send  you  this  account.  The 
second  nest  is  precisely  similar  to  the  first.  It  may  be  well  to  add, 
again,  that  I  have  been  for  many  years  a  diligent  observer  of  birds  and  of 
their  habits,  and  that  I  am  quite  certain  the  bird  in  question  is  the  Girl 
Bunting,  for  with  careful  scrutiny  of  its  plumage  it  is  impossible  to 
mistake  it. — Henry  Benson  (Rector  of  Farncombe). 

Curious  site  for  Chiffchaff's  Nest.— On  the  4th  of  June  last  I  found 
a  nest  of  the  Chiffchaff,  containing  three  eggs,  built  in  a  holly-bush  quite 
five  feet  from  the  ground.  The  nest  was  very  loosely  built,  and  came  to 
grief  before  the  young  birds  were  reared.  The  old  Chiffchaff  was  seen 
and  clearly  identified. — E.  W.  H.  Blago  (Cheadle,  Staffordshire). 

Long-eared  Owl  laying  in  Rook's  Nest. — In  March,  1886,  a  friend  of 
mine,  while  collecting  a  few  Rook's  eggs  near  Barnborough,  Northumber- 
land, found  a  nest  containing  three  eggs  of  the  Rook  and  one  of  the  Long- 
eared  Owl.  There  can  be  no  doubt  about  the  latter,  as  the  old  Owl  was 
seen  to  fly  from  the  nest. — Riley  Fortune  (Harrogate). 

The  Missel  Thrush  occasionally  a  Bird  of  Prey.— With  reference 
to  the  note  under  this  heaiiing  (p.  208),  I  may  mention  that  I  obtained  a 
pair  of  Missel  Thrushes   from  a  nest  in   May  last  year,  and  one  of  the 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  306 

birds — a  handsome  cock — is  still  in  my  possession.  I  have  been  in  the 
habit  of  giving  him  all  my  young  dead  Canaries,  if  only  two  or  three  days 
old,  and  he  has  eaten  them  with  considerable  relish,  bolting  them  whole : 
the  young  Thrushes  being  larger  could  not  be  so  readily  swallowed,  and 
therefore  would  necessarily  have  to  be  pulled  to  pieces. — A.  G.  Butlek 
(British  Museum  Nat.  Hist.). 

Nesting  of  the  Common  Sandpiper.— Although  the  following  facts 
are  mostly  at  second-hand,  they  may  be  of  interest  to  some  readers  of 
'  The  Zoologist.'  The  Common  Sandpiper,  T.  Iiypoleucus,  disappears  from 
the  banks  of  the  Severn  in  this  neighbourhood  about  the  middle  or  end  of 
May,  and  I  hear  that  it  also  leaves  the  lower  reaches  of  the  Wye — say  from 
Ross  downwards — about  the  same  time.  It  is  not  rare  during  early  spring 
on  both  rivers.  Doubtless  these  birds  move  up-stream  to  breed  on  the 
banks  of  the  higher  waters  and  tributaries  of  both  tliese  rivers.  It  is  found 
breeding  annually  on  the  banks  of  the  Lugg ;  and  Dr.  Williams,  of  Kings, 
laud,  has  this  year  brought  a  somewhat  remarkable  fact  to  my  notice.  The 
nest  is  usually  placed  on  the  shingle  and  mud  thrown  up  by  the  river,  and 
which  becomes  covered  with  docks  and  other  coarse  herbage.  During  the 
last  two  seasons  all  the  eggs  have  been  destroyed  by  floods,  and  this  year 
a  complete  change  of  habit  has  taken  place.  Every  nest  except  one — 
possibly  that  of  a  new  arrival  in  the  district — has  been  placed  out  of  reach 
of  any  possible  flood,  some  being  sixty  yards  from  the  water,  others  in  a 
wood  on  a  steep  hillside,  and  one  even  placed  in  the  head  of  a  pollard 
willow.  An  Ayrshire  correspondent  has  sent  me  some  fine  clutches  of  only 
three  eggs  each,  and  he  suggests  the  fact  of  four  (the  usual  number)  not 
being  laid  may  be  attributed  to  stormy  weather.  Has  this  been  noticed 
elsewhere? — H.  W.  Marsden  (Gloucester). 

Note  on  the  Ring  Ouzel. — On  June  13tb,  at  Castleton  (Derbyshire), 
hearing  a  great  noise  from  two  Ring  Ouzels,  I  watched  them  going  to  a 
nest,  from  which  one  of  them  (the  other  looking  on  from  close  by)  twice 
took  eggs  to  the  grass  near,  where  he  began  to  eat  them.  I  afterwards 
climbed  to  the  patch  of  grass,  and  found  one  of  the  eggs  finished,  the  other 
(quite  fresh)  only  half  eaten.  The  eggs  in  question  were  either  Blackbird's 
or  Ring  Ouzel's.  I  was  unable  to  reach  the  nest.  As  this  fact  of  Ring 
Ouzels  robbing  a  nest  for  the  sake  of  the  eggs  is  is  strange  to  me,  I  thought 
it  worth  communication. — Alfred  F.  Buxton  (5,  Hyde  Park  Street,  W.). 

A  new  Egg-drill. —  Several  correspondents  having  written  to  me 
asking  about  the  egg-drill  mentioned  in  '  The  Zoologist'  for  June,  I  beg  to 
state  that  the  full  address  of  the  firm  from  whom  it  may  be  obtained  is 
"The  Dental  Manufacturing  Company,"  6  to  10,  Lexington  Street,  Golden 
Square,  London,  W.  In  ordering  they  should  ask  for  No.  6.5  in  "Ash's 
Catalogue,"  and  particularly  mention  that  it  is  to  be  sharp-pointed.     They 


charged  rae  Is.  each,  and  for  the  instrument  with  a  half-inch  diameter, 
which  they  had  especially  to  make  for  me,  4s.  6d.  — Herbert  Langton. 

A  singular  Bird's  Nest.— The  '  Continental  Times  '  of  July  13th  states 
that  a  bird's  nest,  made  wholly  of  long  spiral  steel  shavings,  without  the 
least  particle  of  vegetable  or  animal  fibre,  has  been  found  at  Solothurn, 
in  Switzerland,  the  centre  of  a  large  watch  manufacturing  district.  It  has 
been  preserved  in  the  local  museum. 

Unusual  Site  for  a  Flycatcher's  Nest.  —  The  Spotted  Flycatcher 
almost  invariably  makes  a  nest  for  itself,  but  this  summer  a  pair  of  these 
little  birds  have  hatched  out  their  young  in  an  old  Missel  Thrush's  nest 
here.  The  site  seems  to  be  sufficiently  curious  to  be  worth  notice. — 
Darell  Stephens  (Trewornan,  Wadebridge). 

Nightingale  singing  in  July.— On  the  2nd  of  July,  and  again  on 
the  8lh,  I  heard  the  Nightingale  singing  on  the  wooded  banks  of  the 
Medway  above  Maidstone.— Henry  Lamb  (Maidstone). 

[This  is  a  late  date  at  which  to  hear  a  Nightingale.  The  song 
generally  ceases  by  the  end  of  the  first  week  in  June.  The  young  birds 
being  then  hatched,  the  old  ones  busy  themselves  in  getting  food  for 
them. — Ed.] 

Coloration  of  the  Viper.— The  remarks  of  my  friend  Mr.  Lodge 
(p,  271)  have  revived  my  interest  in  Vipers,  and  I  should  like  to  express 
my  accordance  with  his  view,  that  the  colour  of  Vipers  bears  little  or  no 
relation  to  the  colour  of  the  soil  on  which  they  live.  In  the  Forest  of 
Fontainbleau,  and  in  Auvergne,  a  good  many  Vipers  occurred  to  me  some 
years  ago.  The  usual  ground-colour  was  a  bronze  or  olive-brown,  and 
I  never  met  with  the  red  variety.  But  in  Auvergne  a  beautiful  French-grey 
variety  was  found  upon  the  same  ground  as  the  bronze  examples,  and 
seemed  almost  as  abundant.  The  fact  was  impressed  upon  my  mind  by 
three  rather  severe  bites  incurred  in  the  capture  of  a  lively  grey  specimen. 
This  grey  variety  has  never  come  under  my  notice  in  Great  Britain. — 
H.  A.  Macpherson  (3,  Kensington  Gardens  Square). 

Mode  in  which  Vipers  are  killed  by  the  Hedgehog.— M.  Ferdinand 
Coste,  of  Lacanche,  in  a  letter  to  the  French  journal  '  I'Eleveur,'  writes  as 
follows : — "  Everyone  knows  that  the  Hedgehog  is  a  sworn  enemy  of 
reptiles  in  general  and  of  the  Viper  in  particular ;  but  few  perhaps  are 
aware  in  what  way  he  contrives  to  overcome  so  recalcitrant  and  dangerous 
an  enemy  and  make  a  meal  of  it.  My  keeper  was  going  his  round  this 
summer  in  a  wood  which  is  unfortunately  infested  with  Vipers,  when  he 
espied  an  enormous  one  asleep  in  the  sun.  He  was  on  the  point  of  killing 
it  with  a  charge  of  shot,  when  he  perceived  a  Hedgehog  coming  cautiously 

NOTES    AND    QUERIES.  307 

over  the  moss  and  noiselessly  approaching  the  reptile.  He  then  witnessed 
a  curious  sight.  As  soon  as  the  Hedgehog  was  within  reach  of  his  prey 
he  seized  it  by  the  tail  with  his  teeth,  and  as  quick  as  thought  rolled 
himself  into  a  ball.  The  Viper,  awakened  by  the  pain,  at  once  turned,  and 
perceiving  his  enemy  made  a  terrific  dart  at  him.  The  Hedgehog  did 
not  wince.  The  Viper,  infatuated,  extends  itself,  hisses,  and  twists  with 
fearful  contortions.  In  five  minutes  it  is  covered  with  blood,  its  mouth  is 
one  large  wound,  and  it  lies  exhausted  on  the  ground.  A  few  more  starts, 
then  a  last  convulsive  agony,  and  it  expires.  When  the  Hedgehog 
perceived  that  it  was  quite  dead  he  let  go  his  hold,  and  quietly  unrolled 
himself.  He  was  just  about  to  begin  his  meal  and  devour  the  reptile,  when 
the  sight  of  my  keeper,  who  had  approached  during  the  struggle,  alarmed 
him,  and  he  rolled  himself  up  again  until  the  man  had  retreated  into  the 
wood.  The  Hedgehog,  then,  did  not  exactly  kill  the  Viper,  but  compelled 
it  to  kill  itself  by  darting  against  his  sharp  spines." 

Slow-worm  attacked  by  a  Missel  Thrush.— One  day  last  summer, 
while  driving  to  Dorchester,  I  noticed  a  little  cloud  of  dust  rising  from  the 
road.  On  drawing  nearer  I  saw  it  was  caused  by  a  Missel  Thrush,  Turdus 
viscivorus,  which  held  a  struggling  Slow-worm,  Anguis  fragilis,  and  was 
pecking  at  it  with  all  its  might  and  main.  When  I  got  quite  close,  the 
Thrush  flew  away,  and  the  Slow-worm  slowly  wriggled  off.  When  searching 
for  beetles  I  have  often  found  Slow-worms  under  the  loose  bark  of  fallen 
trees.—  C.  W.  Dale  (Glanville's  Wootton,  Sherborne). 

Tunny  at  Penzance.— On  July  11th  a  small  Tunny,  Orcynus  thynnus, 
Day,  was  brought  to  me.  It  measured  two  feet  six  inches  over  all,  and 
turned  the  scale  at  20  lbs.  It  was  taken  by  hand  embayed  in  a  salt-water 
pool  in  the  rocks  at  Newlyn,  in  this  Bay.  The  stomach  was  gorged  with 
pilchards.  The  flesh  had  all  the  appearance  of  dark  bull-beef.  My  friends 
and  myself  dressed  portions  of  it  by  several  methods,  with  the  following 
results: — Stewed,  it  was  delicate  and  good;  broiled,  it  was  coarse,  but 
palatable ;  baked  in  oil  and  vinegar  ("  marinated  "),  it  was  very  good.  In 
every  case  the  taste  of  the  fish  was  pronounced  to  be  between  that  of 
mackerel  and  salmon,  but  not  so  good  as  either  of  these  fish  separately. — 
Thomas  Cornish  (Penzance). 

A  Man  killed  by  a  Swordfish. — The  schooner  'Venus'  is  a  small 
vessel  of  about  twelve  tons,  owned  and  commanded  by  Franklin  D.  Lanos- 
ford,  of  Lanesville,  Mass.,  with  a  crew  of  three  men,  engaged  iu  the  general 
fisheries  off  the  coast  of  Massachusetts.  On  August  9th  Capt.  Langsford 
sailed  from  home  in  pursuit  of  Swordfish.  About  11  a.m.,  when  eight 
miles  north-east  from  Halibut  Point,  in  Ipswich  Bay,  a  lish  was  seen.    The 


captain,  with  one  man,  taking  a  dory,  gave  chase,  and  soon  harpooned  the 
fish,  throwing  over  a  huoy  with  a  Hne  attached  to  the  harpoon,  after  which 
the  fish  was  left  and  they  returned  to  the  vessel  for  dinner.  About  an 
hour  later  the  captain,  with  one  man,  again  took  his  dory  and  went  out  to 
secure  the  fish.  Picking  up  the  buoy.  Captain  Langsford  took  hold  of  the 
line,  pulling  his  boat  toward  the  Swordfish,  which  was  quite  large,  and  not 
badly  wounded.  The  line  was  taut  as  the  boat  slowly  neared  the  fish,  which 
the  captain  intended  to  lance,  and  thus  kill  it.  When  near  the  fish,  but 
too  far  away  to  reach  it  with  the  lance,  it  quickly  turned  and  rushed  at  aud 
under  the  boat,  thrusting  its  sword  up  through  the  bottom  of  the  boat 
twenty-three  inches.  As  the  fish  turned  and  rushed  towards  the  boat  the 
line  was  suddenly  slacked,  causing  the  captain  to  fall  over  on  his  back ; 
and,  while  he  was  in  the  act  of  rising,  the  sword  came  piercing  through 
the  boat  and  into  his  body.  At  this  time  another  Swordfish  was  in  sight 
near  by,  and  the  captain,  excited  and  anxious  to  secure  both,  raised  himself 
up,  not  knowing  that  he  was  wounded.  Seeing  the  sword,  he  seized  it, 
exclaiming,  "  We've  got  Jiim,  any  way  !  "  He  lay  in  the  bottom  of  the 
dory,  holding  fast  to  the  sword,  until  his  vessel  came  alongside,  while  the 
fish,  being  under  the  boat,  could  not  be  reached.  Soon  the  captain  said, 
"I  think  I  am  hurt,  and  quite  badly."  When  the  vessel  arrived  he  went 
on  board,  took  a  few  steps  and  fell,  never  rising  again.  The  boat  and  fish 
were  soon  hoisted  on  board,  when  the  sword  was  chopped  off  to  free  the 
boat,  and  the  fish  was  killed  on  the  deck  of  the  vessel.  The  fish  weighed 
245  pounds  after  its  head  and  tail  were  cut  off  and  the  viscera  removed ; 
when  alive  it  weighed  something  over  300  pounds.  Captain  Langsford 
survived  the  injury  about  three  days,  dying  on  August  12th,  of  peritonitis, 
the  sword  having  penetrated  his  body  to  the  extent  of  seven  inches,  and 
entered  the  pelvic  cavity.  The  sword  has  been  deposited  in  the  U.S. 
National  Museum. — W.  A.  Wilcox  (in  a  letter  to  Prof.  S.  F.  Baird),  Bull. 
U.S.  Fish  Commission,  1887,  p.  417. 

Crenilabrus  exoletus  at  Penzance.— Early  in  May,  in  a  crab-pot  in 
about  ten  fathoms  of  water,  I  took  a  Rock-cook,  Crenilabrus  exoletus.  It  is 
not  a  rare  fish  here,  but  is  rarely  observed,  and  I  note  it  on  account  of  its 
exceedingly  brilliant  colouring.  The  ultramarine-blue  stripes  over  and 
below  the  eye  throughout  the  whole  length  of  the  head,  were  followed  along 
the  back  by  markings,  following  the  edges  of  the  scales,  of  a  similar  blue, 
intermixed  with  bright  iridescent-green.  The  base  of  the  pectorals  and  of 
the  caudal  were  similarly  marked,  as  were  also  three  or  four  rows  of  scales 
below  the  lateral  line;  and  it  was  similarly,  but  in  fainter  colour,  marked 
on  the  belly  behind  the  vent,  the  blue  colour  preponderating;  the  sides 
were  of  a  golden  bronze  colour,  and  so  also  were  the  lower  sides  of  the 
preoperculum.  The  dorsal  and  anal  fins  were  also  bright  blue  at  the  base ; 
the  belly  was  of  a  inonzed  white.    The  fish  was  a  male,  which  may  perhaps 


at  this  season  account  for  its  peculiarly  brilliant  appearance.  It  possesses 
the  very  unpleasant  character  of  having  an  extremely  disagreeable  odour, 
even  whilst  alive.  I  presume  that  the  reason  why  fish  are  very  rarely 
described  in  their  true  colours  by  ichthyologists  is  that  they  do  not  see 
their  specimens  until  they  are  dead  and  have  lost  their  colours,  but  this  is 
the  brightest  coloured  Rock-cook  I  have  ever  seen. — Thomas  Cornish 

Octopus  at  Penzance.— During  the  week  ending  July  16th  I  took  two 
specimens  of  Octopus  vulgaris  in  my  nets,  in  about  eight  fathoms  water.  Of^fi^- 
They  were  both  small  ones,   the  largest  less   than  three  feet  in  length.     '^ 
Both  had  ink-sacs  full  of  the  ordinary  fluid,  but  they  did  not  attempt  to 
squirt  it  when  taken.     In  fact,  I  never  saw  an  Octopus  attempt  to  squirt. 
One  was  beautifully  coloured  at  the  time  of  its  capture,  mottled  light  and 
dark  sepia-colour.     The  other  was  dull  self-coloured  when  captured,  but 
attahied  this  mottled  appearance  as  it  died. — Thos.  Cornish  (Penzance). 


Secretion  of  a  violet-coloured  fluid  by  certain  of  the  LimnEeidae. — 

My  friend  Mr.  Wm.  Nelson  (Leeds)  noted  in  the  '  Quarterly  Journal  of 
Conchology'  for  May,  1877,  that  Limnma  stagnalis  had  the  power  of 
emitting,  when  irritated,  a  pale  violet-coloured  liquid,  which  he  had 
noticed  on  taking  the  animal  (after  killing)  from  the  shell,  and  also  when 
lifting  them  alive  from  out  of  the  water.  It  may  be  of  interest  to  know 
that  both  L.  peregra  and  L.  palustris  also  possess  this  peculiar  property, 
which  I  have  frequently  noticed  in  living  specimens.  The  liquid  discharge 
is  of  a  much  darker  colour  in  palustris  than  that  in  peregra.  —  W.  E. 
CoLLiNGE  (Springfield  Plac